THE senior detective who led the investigation into the mass murder house blaze in Birkby is retiring.
Marsden-born Det Supt Bob Bridgestock has been a policeman for 30 years - most of them in CID - and has been involved in several high profile cases.
The award-winning detective joined the force when he was 22 and has spent all but two years of his career as a detective.
In the last three years alone he has been in charge of 26 murders, 23 major incidents including shootings and attempted murders, along with more than 50 suspicious deaths and numerous serious sexual assaults.
He has taken on a number of high profile cases including the murder of father-of-two Kevin Jackson by car thieves in Halifax at New Year, 2001, and also the deaths of eight members of the same family in Osborne Road, Birkby, in May last year.
Both investigations ended in successful convictions.
Det Supt Bridgestock said: "High profile cases like these always create added pressure. The public are always waiting for someone to be arrested. Fortunately, we had quick success with these cases as with others."
Det Supt Bridgestock began his career patrolling the streets of Huddersfield before joining CID.
Since then he has served in Huddersfield, Bradford and Calderdale.
In 1983 he won the Dennis Hoban Trophy for his work in trapping three Huddersfield men who seriously sexually assaulted and killed two women in Cheshire. In all he has received more than 20 commendations from high courts, judges, crown courts and chief constables.
Det Supt Bridgestock added: "I consider myself to be a career detective, gaining my experience from some excellent colleagues who have gone before me.
"My ambition back in 1976 was to be a senior investigating officer, which I have achieved. I have worked with some tremendous teams, made up of individuals determined to succeed. I have also had great support from external agencies."
He added: "Behind the scenes there is an enormous amount of work ongoing which sometimes goes unnoticed, but over the years has achieved excellent results."
Det Supt Bridgestock is moving south in the autumn with his wife, Carol - a member of the police support staff - and their family.
Carol has worked for the force for 17 years so between them the couple have given almost half a century of service to West Yorkshire Police.