Five police face misconduct inquiry over Jayden search

Five police face misconduct inquiry over Jayden search

Five police face misconduct inquiry over Jayden search

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter, also covering Barton and Wood Farm. Call me on (01865) 425427

FIVE police officers are facing a misconduct probe over the search for murdered teenager Jayden Parkinson.

The investigation is concentrating on the period of December 4 to 12, 2013.

On December 4, her ex-boyfriend Ben Blakeley was arrested in connection with an outstanding allegation that he had taken indecent images of Jayden and threatened to put them online.

He was arrested again on December 10 on suspicion of kidnapping Jayden and bailed before being arrested on Decemeber 12 on suspicion of murdering her.

Unknown to the police, Blakeley had murdered her on December 3 and buried her in a ditch in Upton before burying her in a grave in Didcot on December 8.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is looking at whether the police who interviewed Blakeley on December 4 knew Jayden had been reported missing the same day. It will also investigate her case being registered as medium risk – meaning she could be in danger – initially and not upgraded to high risk – meaning there was a real chance she was the victim of a serious crime – until six days later.

The IPCC yesterday revealed it had begun investigating and interviewing the five officers it has served with misconduct notices.

The watchdog is also looking into the force’s response to fears raised about Blakeley and alleged threats he made against Jayden and her family in the months before she was killed.

And it is investigating complaints from Jayden’s mother Samantha Shrewsbury that police did not deal with her daughter appropriately before her murder.

Blakeley, 22, was last month sentenced to life in prison and will serve at least 20 years.

IPCC associate commissioner Guido Liguori yesterday said: “As well as examining the individual actions of officers and staff in response to Jayden being reporting missing and whether these were appropriate, our investigation has also been looking at the force’s policies and systems around missing person reports.

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“It is vital that we establish as full a picture as we can as to how the force responded to Jayden being reported missing, and the contact officers and staff had with her and Ben Blakeley in the months before her murder.”

Thames Valley Police said it would be inappropriate for the force to comment while it was being investigated.

Oxford East MP Andrew Smith said last night: “I welcome a thorough investigation of this, and we can’t jump to conclusions without knowing all the facts.”

Meanwhile, Blakeley’s brother Jake will face a retrial for his role in the burial of the murdered teenager’s body.

The 18-year-old was tried last month alongside his older brother.

Jake Blakeley admitted perverting the course of justice by aiding the 22-year-old in hiding Jayden’s body on the night of December 8 last year.

But he denied knowing what it was they were burying, claiming his violent and abusive brother had lied to him.

And after a trial, a jury could not reach a verdict on a single charge of preventing a lawful burial.

Yesterday prosecutor Matthew Walsh said the Crown Prosecution Service has decided to hold a retrial. He said prosecution and defence barristers had agreed to January 19 next year for the new trial.

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