Page last updated at 13:16 GMT, Tuesday, 22 April 2008 14:16 UK

Killer policeman bail criticised

Garry Weddell
Garry Weddell was found dead at a shooting club in Hertfordshire

A police officer who killed while on bail accused of murder was freed due to money and power, MPs have heard.

Garry Weddell, 47, killed his wife Sandra at their Bedfordshire home, before he shot her mother and committed suicide while on bail, a coroner ruled.

Mrs Weddell's brother Paul Carne told a parliamentary select committee Weddell was released as he was a police inspector and his brother a barrister.

Mr Carne called for the process of granting bail to be improved.

"If it had not been so, we suspect Garry Weddell would not have received bail," Mr Carne said.

"His brother was able to pick up a significant amount of surety, he also had a high position being a barrister and the judge was aware of that.

"It was certainly a contributing element. I think if Garry Weddell had been somebody with a more normal position and his brother also, then the support for bail would not have been so strong."

Weddell was arrested, and subsequently charged, on suspicion of murder following the death of 44-year-old Mrs Weddell at their Dunstable home in January 2007.

An inquest into all three deaths last month heard how he may have faked her suicide.

Firearms safeguards

Judge John Bevan QC twice refused Weddell bail before releasing him on 27 July after the policeman's barrister brother put up a 200,000 bond.

A shotgun stolen from a shooting club in Markyate, Hertfordshire, was used to kill Weddell's mother-in-law Traute Maxfield, 70, at her home on 11 January, before Weddell shot himself at the shooting club.

Mr Carne told the committee he criticised how Weddell was able to easily obtain a shotgun.

"Given the manner in which my mother died, if that could have been prevented then perhaps her death would have been averted," he said.

"It is a sporting activity but even so there should be safeguards in place."

video and audio news
The result of the inquest into the murders by Gary Weddell

Inspector 'planned to kill more'
18 Mar 08 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Weddell photographed breaking bail
31 Jan 08 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
MPs to investigate bail questions
18 Jan 08 |  UK Politics
Family tribute to murder victims
15 Jan 08 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Police officer death inquiry call
14 Jan 08 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Officer bailed on murder charge
27 Sep 07 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts

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