Page last updated at 19:51 GMT, Monday, 4 January 2010

Police watchdog will not investigate Tors death

Charlotte Shaw
Charlotte was throwing a bag across a river when she was swept away

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has decided not to conduct its own inquiry into police handling of a girl's death on a school trip.

In December, the inquest into the drowning of 14-year-old Charlotte Shaw was halted for the case to be considered for criminal charges.

She died after falling into a swollen river on Dartmoor during a Ten Tors training exercise on 4 March 2007.

The coroner criticised the police after witnesses gave conflicting evidence.

Charlotte, from Frithelstock in Devon, was in a party of 10 from Edgehill College, Bideford, training for the Ten Tors Challenge when she fell into Walla Brook during "atrocious" weather.

Devon and Cornwall Police voluntarily referred the inquiry to the IPCC after the comments by the coroner, Dr Elizabeth Earland.

Investigators 'satisfied'

Len Jackson, IPCC deputy chairman, said: "The media reported the concerns expressed at the inquest about the police investigation into Charlotte's death and this matter was referred voluntarily by the force because of public confidence issues.

"One of our senior investigators looked at this matter and I am satisfied that at this stage it can be returned to the police force without any further IPCC involvement."

The Crown Prosecution Service will look at the evidence heard at the inquest, at Exeter's County Hall, and decide if criminal charges should follow.

If charges are brought, the inquest will be adjourned until the criminal case is resolved.

A total of 26 people from three schools were airlifted from the moor the weekend Charlotte died.

Two months later, the Ten Tors was abandoned halfway through the weekend expedition because of heavy rain.

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