Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

THERE'S NO APOLOGY; Police Reject IPCC Suggestion over Kyle Case

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

THERE'S NO APOLOGY; Police Reject IPCC Suggestion over Kyle Case

Article excerpt


THE Chief Constable of Cleveland Police has rejected calls for an apology after the force was cleared of any misconduct over the investigation into the death of toddler Kyle Fisher.

Kyle, two, of Troutpool Close, Hartlepool, died on July 23, 2004, and his babysitter Suzanne Holdsworth was convicted of his murder.

In April 2008 the conviction was overturned by the Court of Appeal and a jury at Teesside Crown Court cleared Ms Holdsworth in a second trial in December 2008.

After her acquittal she claimed police "didn't do their job properly" and her partner Lee Spencer made 27 complaints about the investigation.

The complaints focused mainly on claims that officers failed to fully examine all the evidence, including CCTV footage from a shop Ms Holdsworth said she had visited and Kyle's previous medical history.

As a result, an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) inquiry concluded the force could learn from two issues.

It found Cleveland Police needed absolute detail and clarity in recordkeeping with regard to the CCTV, and that senior officers in major inquiries could benefit from peer review.

But the IPCC did not uphold any of the 27 complaints made against the officers. Nonetheless, it recommended Cleveland Police should consider apologising to Ms Holdsworth.

IPCC commissioner Nicholas Long said: "This was a complex investigation into a tragic and highly emotive case. At the heart of this is the death of a two-year-old boy and the wrongful conviction of a woman.

"Ms Holdsworth and her partner Lee Spencer are entirely justified in seeking answers as to why she went through this experience.

"This investigation has... examined each complaint in detail. What it has concluded is that those complaints cannot be substantiated. There is no evidence of any misconduct. …

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