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Last Updated: Friday, 13 August, 2004, 10:40 GMT 11:40 UK
Stevens 'betrayed us', police say
By Sally Chidzoy
Home Affairs reporter

Mr Stevens arriving at the Old Bailey
Stevens was smug, arrogant and manipulative, colleagues said
Brian Stevens' fellow officers were disgusted when he used details of his private meetings with Jessica Chapman's family in evidence at his trial.

The disgraced Cambridgeshire detective constable dabbed his eyes as he claimed in the witness box that he told the Soham victim's parents she was dead.

But the Old Bailey was told that task had been performed by another officer.

"The way Stevens dragged the Chapmans into it was disgusting," a police source told the BBC.

"The family (Jessica's) has always shunned publicity. There are members of the police who feel badly let down and betrayed by him,"

Assault charges

Police colleagues have described Stevens as "smug, arrogant, manipulative and cynical".

In an interview for the BBC just 11 days after Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman vanished he was asked to describe his role as police liaison officer.

He told the reporter: "You always strive to be professional in your relationship with the family.

"We are all human. I have children, naturally you feel for this family."

Of the Chapmans he said: "I think the family certainly view us now as their latest additions and we're very grateful for that and their openness and their honesty in this inquiry with us."

Two years later his own honesty was under fierce scrutiny at the Old Bailey.

In August 2002, detectives raided his home and arrested him after his name appeared on the Operation Ore list.

Brian Stevens and Louise Austin
Brian Stevens and Louise Austin were arrested in August 2003
It was among a list of 6,000 suspects after credit card details used to access material were obtained by the United States Postal Inspection Service, a federal agency that investigates online paedophile activity.

Stevens was charged with five counts of possessing indecent photographs of children and three counts of distributing indecent photographs of children,

When the case reached Snaresbrook Crown Court a year ago, the charges were dropped after the court was told that evidence from a prosecution computer expert could not be relied upon.

Three charges of assault involving girls under the age of 16 were also dropped after prosecutors offered no evidence.

At the time a CPS spokesman said: "In the light of additional information recently received by the CPS, the allegations of indecent assault and possession and distribution of indecent photographs against Brian Stevens have been carefully reconsidered.

No evidence offered

"It has been decided there's no longer a realistic prospect of conviction in relation to those charges and no evidence has been offered."

But the parents of one of the girls said they wanted explanations as to why the case did not go to trial and their daughter was not allowed to present her evidence.

The father said: "In the light of what has happened with Louise Austin, who worked for the CPS, we would like to see a full investigation into why the case wasn't pursued.

"We would like some details and some answers."

The girl's mother told the BBC: "We've gone through hell and back. He's got what he deserves - justice."

'Creepy and horrible'

Officers were furious at Stevens' triumphant reaction after the original child porn case against him collapsed in August 2003.

Shortly afterwards, Stevens and his friend Louise Austin, a case officer with the Crown Prosecution Service, were arrested.

Stevens, a father-of-two, who married his second wife Jane in 1997, was not popular with some of his neighbours.

One family said they would throw a party to celebrate the conviction of the "creepy and horrible" detective.

Stevens, who has been suspended from duty since August 2002, faces dismissal from the police force.




SEE ALSO:
Soham officer guilty of alibi lie
13 Aug 04  |  Cambridgeshire
Woman denies affair with officer
09 Aug 04  |  Cambridgeshire
Soham officer 'inflated his role'
05 Aug 04  |  Cambridgeshire
Soham detective weeps in court
04 Aug 04  |  Cambridgeshire
Soham officer made date 'mistake'
03 Aug 04  |  Cambridgeshire
Soham detective lied, trial told
30 Jul 04  |  Cambridgeshire


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