Front Page

UK

World

Business

Sci/Tech

Sport

Despatches

World Summary


On Air

Cantonese

Talking Point

Feedback

Text Only

Help

Site Map

Tuesday, December 9, 1997 Published at 21:24 GMT



UK

'We're sorry', police tell murder victims' parents
image: [ Police at first tought the deaths were due to solvent abuse ]
Police at first tought the deaths were due to solvent abuse

Northumbria Police have apologised to the families of three murdered schoolboys for initially saying they died of solvent abuse.

Thomas Kelly, 18, David Hanson, 15, and David Grieff, 15, died within four months of each other.

Two were found suffocated and partially-burned in allotment sheds near their homes in Sunderland. The third was discovered in a disused guest house less than two miles away. Cans of lighter fuel and glue were found beside the bodies.


[ image: Alan Oliver:
Alan Oliver: "We are sorry"
Northumbria Police said at the time of the killings four years ago that the three had died as a result of a new solvent-sniffing craze.

But the teenagers' parents were convinced they were murdered.

It was eight months before the case was reviewed and it emerged that all three teenagers had been strangled.

The killer, Stephen Grieveson, was given three life sentences in 1996.

The parents put 62 concerns and questions before the Police Complaints Authority.

A report by the authority has concluded that the police were insensitive in their dealings with the families.

Alan Oliver, the Assistant Chief Constable of Northumbria Police, made an apology to the families, saying they had not received the quality of service they deserved.


[ image: Clare Routledge says the matter is now closed]
Clare Routledge says the matter is now closed
Solicitor Clare Routledge said the investigation report and apology now closed the whole affair.

"They are very relieved to have this unequivocal apology. From the beginning all they wanted to establish was these were everyday boys who did everyday things, not criminals and not drug or solvent abusers," she said.

David Grieff's mother Janet said: "As far as the apology goes this is the matter finished. This is what we wanted. We all feel relieved."

Thomas Kelly's motherJudy Kelly said: "Because of those comments we have found ourselves defending our sons. Anyone who knew them knew what they were like."

But the parents of David Hanson said they still believed the original police investigation had been flawed, allowing the killer to murder again.


 
The BBC's John Thorne reports on the case
The Assistant Chief Constable of Northumbria Police, Alan Oliver, explains why he apologised





Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage

©

  Relevant Stories

09/12/97 | UK
Murder case inquiry findings to be published

 
  Internet Links

Northumbria Police

Police Complaints Authority


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
 
In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online





UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England