Policeman is charged with murder

By Richard SmithA SUFFOLK police officer is due to appear before magistrates today charged with killing a man 22 years ago in South America.Micheal Andrew Cheong, of Peterhouse Crescent, Woodbridge, is due to appear before Bow Street magistrates in London.

By Richard Smith

A SUFFOLK police officer is due to appear before magistrates today charged with killing a man 22 years ago in South America.

Micheal Andrew Cheong, of Peterhouse Crescent, Woodbridge, is due to appear before Bow Street magistrates in London.

He has been charged with the murder of Brian Spencer, 23, in the Linden Highway area of Guyana in 1982. Mr Spencer died from injuries sustained after he was shot.


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The initial inquiries into his death were carried out by police officers in Guyana, but the investigation was taken up by Interpol and Suffolk police last year.

Officers from Suffolk undertook an 8,000-mile round trip to Guyana to make inquiries into Mr Spencer's death.

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Cheong, 42, was a serving officer with Suffolk Constabulary at the time of his arrest on November 10.

He was automatically suspended from duty, in line with the police force's standard practice when an officer is under investigation.

Suffolk police have not released details of where Cheong was stationed or what were his duties, but it is understood that he was a constable based at Ipswich Police Station.

Cheong has been waiting since November for the results of a police investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Spencer. He has had to answer his bail on several occasions, but Suffolk police announced yesterday that he had been charged with murder.

However, it is not clear whether, if the case goes to trial, the proceedings will be heard in this country or in Guyana.

Prosecutors could decide to invoke the Offences Against the Person Act of 1861, which contains a clause allowing for a case to be heard in the UK.

Mr Spencer was travelling to his home in the village of Buxton, near Georgetown, the capital of Guyana, when he was killed.

He was one of six children and was born in the public hospital in Georgetown. He grew up in Buxton, a village of about 3,000 people a few miles from Georgetown, and attended a Roman Catholic primary school.

Mr Spencer moved to Buxton Community High School before finishing his education in his mid-teens and taking up work in the carpentry trade.

Guyana is a former British colony with a population of about 800,000 people.

The country, an English-speaking co-operative republic, borders Venezuela and Brazil. It has retained the death penalty.

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk

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