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Thursday, 10 December, 1998, 14:34 GMT
Nickell officer charged with corruption
Rachel Nickell was stabbed repeatedly
One of the detectives who led the investigation into the murder of Rachel Nickell has been charged with corruption.

Keith Pedder, who is now a private detective, was arrested in March and questioned about claims he had attempted to get information from the police national computer.

The 41-year-old former detective inspector, who was a key part of the Rachel Nickell inquiry team, left the police in 1996.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Keith Pedder, a private investigator, was charged yesterday under Section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 that in March this year he attempted to corrupt a detective constable in the Metropolitan Police."

Charge dropped

In September 1999, the corruption charge against Ex-Detective Inspector Keith Pedder, 42, was dropped, after a judge ruled the main evidence against him was "unfair."

Mr Pedder walked free from the Old Bailey after Recorder Oliver Blunt formally found him not guilty.

Colin Stagg: Acquitted of murder
Miss Nickell, 23, was murdered in 1992 on Wimbledon Common in a frenzied attack in front of her two-year-old son, Alex.

Police arrested a local man, Colin Stagg, but he was acquitted of her murder at a trial at the Old Bailey in 1994.

The judge ruled as inadmissable evidence from an undercover policewoman - known as Lizzie James - who befriended Mr Stagg and encouraged him to "confess" to the murder.

Mr Stagg said he was innocent and told police he told Lizzie he killed Rachel because it seemed to be what she wanted to hear.

This story was updated on Wednesday, January 14, 2004, to make clear that the charge against Mr Pedder was dropped and that he was cleared by a judge at the Old Bailey.

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