Page last updated at 22:12 GMT, Tuesday, 17 November 2009

IPCC complaint over Nickell death

Andre Hanscombe
Mr Hanscombe wants disciplinary action to be taken if appropriate

The partner of Rachel Nickell has complained to the police watchdog about failures by the Metropolitan force in the years before her killer struck.

Miss Nickell, 23, was knifed repeatedly by Robert Napper on Wimbledon Common in 1992 in front of her two-year-old son.

Her partner Andre Hanscombe has learned that the Independent Police Complaints Commission has already begun "scoping" the case, his lawyer Kate Maynard said.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that the IPCC has sent on a complaint.

On Monday Mr Hanscombe apologised to former suspect in the case Colin Stagg for the ordeal he suffered. Mr Stagg spent 13 months in jail after a wrongful arrest.

Mr Hanscombe's complaint to the IPCC follows a police apology to the family of Miss Nickell after serial rapist Napper last year admitted killing her.

It is my duty to all those touched by the flawed investigations, and to the public in general, to seek justice
Andre Hanscombe

He was ordered to be detained in Broadmoor indefinitely after pleading guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of his diminished responsibility.

Police also apologised to the family of Samantha Bissett, 27, whom Napper, 42, killed, along with her four-year-old daughter Jazmine, in 1993.

It emerged that detectives had been given tip-offs about Napper's criminality as far back as 1989, including from his own mother.

Mr Hanscombe said: "When Napper was convicted of killing Rachel, the glaring question, why the investigation had taken so long and had been handled so badly, remained unanswered.

"To have found out in December 2008 that Rachel's death may have been prevented initially left me numb."

Mr Hanscombe is demanding that, if appropriate, police officers face disciplinary action.

Rachel Nickell
Rachel Nickell was stabbed 49 times as she walked with her son

He continued: "Now that I have had time to come to terms with it, I feel determined to bring all of the mistakes into the light.

"My hope is to make sure that a similar chain of circumstances is never allowed to develop again.

"It is my duty to all those touched by the flawed investigations, and to the public in general, to seek justice."

An IPCC spokesman said: "We have assigned two of our most experienced investigators to initially scope the case and that work has begun."

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "The IPCC has today [Tuesday] sent us the complaint they received.

"It is only right this complaint will be properly dealt with and we will now consider what the appropriate next step is."



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SEE ALSO
Nickell partner in Stagg apology
16 Nov 09 |  London
Stagg wins 700,000 compensation
13 Aug 08 |  London
Man admits Rachel Nickell killing
18 Dec 08 |  London

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