Ipswich: Police officers given written warnings over response in murder probe

TWO Suffolk police officers have been handed written warnings for their response to an emergency call at a flat where it later emerged a woman was killed.

The constables – a man and a woman – attended a property in Victoria Street, Ipswich, after a 999 call was received on August 4, 2009, reporting a disturbance involving a woman screaming in fear.

After knocking on the flat’s door and failing to get a response, the pair left the scene without taking any further action.

The body of Rosalyn Hunt was found at the flat five days later. Lorraine Thorpe, who was 15 at the time, and Paul Clarke, then 41 and of Mountbatten Court, Ipswich, were both found guilty of her murder at Ipswich Crown Court in August 2010 and sentenced to life behind bars.

Clarke and Thorpe were also found guilty of murdering the teenager’s father, Des Thorpe, 43.

The main Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation into the response to the emergency call found the officers failed to establish whether there was a disturbance at the flat, they should have entered the property and they failed to make any follow up enquiries and could and should have done more to ensure Ms Hunt’s welfare.

Another officer wrongly closed the incident without ensuring it was known the occupant was safe and well.

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A further independent investigation by the IPCC concluded the two officers gave inaccurate accounts of their actions stating they had returned to the flat after speaking to a man nearby when in fact they drove off. The pair explained they had made a mistake in their statements and for the sequence of events wrong.

The main investigation ended in April 2010 and the additional investigation was completed in April.

At misconduct hearings run by Suffolk police earlier this month, the two constables received written warnings.

The third officer was given management advice by one of the Force’s senior officers.

The IPCC has met with Ms Hunt’s family to explain its findings and has addressed a number of complaints they made relating to Suffolk Police.

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