Police chief Suzette Davenport could face criminal charges over murder trial
POLICE chief Suzette Davenport is among 14 police officers who could face criminal charges over a murder investigation.
It comes after concerns were raised about witness handling in the investigation of the "execution-style" murder of a 20-year-old man.
Now the Independent Police Complaints Commission has passed a file of evidence to prosecutors relating to five officers who were part of a Staffordshire Police unit that dealt with protected witnesses in the murder of Kevin Nunes. It will give the Crown Prosecution Service a second file relating to another nine officers above superintendent in the coming weeks.
As well as Gloucestershire's chief constable Suzette Davenport, the files include details of Northamptonshire chief constable Adrian Lee, West Midlands assistant chief constable Marcus Beale and Staffordshire assistant chief constable Jane Sawyers.
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Ms Davenport was appointed to the role in February by police and crime commissioner Martin Surl, while the IPCC investigation was being carried out. At the time said she was confident the IPCC will not find her guilty of any wrongdoing.
Yesterday, the force referred queries to Mr Surl, who told the Citizen: "I welcome the fact that the investigation has moved a step forward. As I made clear when I appointed Suzette Davenport in February, I have full confidence in her. Having worked with her for seven months, I've seen her show outstanding commitment to Gloucestershire and prove that she has all the skills needed for such a challenging job. This investigation has been going on for a number of years and I will be glad when it has been brought to a conclusion."
It relates to a case where five men were jailed in 2008 for the murder of an amateur footballer, who was found dead in a country lane in Pattingham, Staffordshire, in 2002. They had their convictions quashed last year after it emerged the defence teams of the alleged killers were denied access to a damning Staffordshire Police report. The report, which was ordered by Ms Davenport, claimed officers behaved inappropriately with a key witness to the shooting.
IPCC commissioner Tom Davies said: "This has been a thorough and painstaking investigation. I am satisfied that we have reached a point in the investigation where it is right for the CPS to examine the evidence gathered in relation to five officers."