Officer to face disciplinary hearing

AN OFFICER involved in a high-profile murder probe is to face a disciplinary hearing by Essex Police.The move follows an internal force investigation that began after a complaint was received in November 2001 from the parent of a murder victim.

AN OFFICER involved in a high-profile murder probe is to face a disciplinary hearing by Essex Police.

The move follows an internal force investigation that began after a complaint was received in November 2001 from the parent of a murder victim.

Allegations were made that the police officer concerned was negligent by the family of "body in the cupboard" victim Justin Chant.

Terry Chant, father of the 24-year-old murder victim, raised an official complaint against the force highlighting specific grievances in connection with the inquiry into his son's death.


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He complained about the officer's manner and attitude and alleged there was a lack of supervision by Essex Police.

The family agreed to drop the complaints after they were assured by senior officers that the matters raised would be investigated as part of an internal inquiry.

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A police spokesman said at the time that the force was investigating other matters aside from those complaints made by Mr Chant.

He added that other similar allegations of negligence and improper conduct had been made between January and November 2001.

Yesterday a spokesman said: "I can confirm a disciplinary hearing will take place within four to six months."

The "body in the cupboard" trial in Autumn 2001 saw Stephen Sullivan convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard how Sullivan tortured Justin Chant and kept him imprisoned in a small cupboard in his home in Thorpe-le-Soken.

Justin's parents said they suffered from stress and depression caused by the court case, with Mr Chant forced to take time of work because of illness.

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