[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 25 March, 2004, 16:00 GMT
Pc's killer 'failed drug tests'
David Parfitt
Parfitt once described himself as a raging crackhead
A drug addict jailed for killing a police dog handler should have been returned to prison for failing drug tests, a report has revealed.

David Parfitt, 26, was jailed for 13 years in December 2003 for the manslaughter of Pc Ged Walker.

The report said his probation officer wrongly accepted his excuses for breaching the terms of his release.

Parfitt failed 10 drug tests out of 19 after he was placed on a tagging scheme following his early release.

Head injuries

The Home Office report by HM Inspector of Probation, Professor Rod Morgan, said his probation officer should have ordered Parfitt's recall in September 2002, but continued to show "inappropriate leniency" for a further three months.

Pariftt once told her that he had missed a drug test because he was "feeling unwell as he had been smoking heroin really heavily".

The report has unfortunately confirmed ... that if the Probation Service hadn't failed in their duty my husband would still be alive today
Tracy Walker

Prof Morgan said that if Nottinghamshire Probation Service had taken appropriate action promptly the "Parole Board would have revoked Parfitt's licence earlier than they did".

David Hancock, chief officer of Nottinghamshire Probation Area, said he took full responsibility for failures of his staff and confirmed he has made a personal apology to Mrs Walker.

But he confirmed that no disciplinary action has been taken against staff who failed to act on Parfitt's repeated breaches of his licence.

Parfitt, from Nottingham, was being tracked by police after his licence was officially revoked in December 2002 when he was spotted by Pc Walker and his dog Kai.

As they attempted to arrest the suspect, he drove down a road in Nottingham in a stolen taxi with the officer hanging from a door.

Pc Walker, 42, was thrown into a concrete bollard and died in hospital two days later.

Heroin and cocaine

The officer's widow, Tracy Walker, said: "The report has unfortunately confirmed all the things we feared, that if the Probation Service hadn't failed in their duty my husband would still be alive today.

"If the drug testing scheme had been properly enforced he would never have been out on the streets and wouldn't be serving 13 years for manslaughter."

Parfitt - who had once described himself as a "raging crackhead" - was not deemed a priority offender by probation staff and his assigned officer said she was satisfied if he was simply turning up for drug tests.

An alcoholic since the age of 16, Parfitt routinely tested positive for heroin and cocaine during his months on licence.

Discussions held

He joined a pilot Home Office scheme launched in 2001 which secured offenders an early release on licence if they complied with a strict drug testing regime.

Mr Morgan's 92-page report makes 10 recommendations, including calls for a clarification of criteria for drug test schemes and better co-operation between police, probation officers and the Prison Service.

Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police, Steve Greene, said: "Obviously the first words to say in response to the inquiry are that I feel a sense of deep sadness and great anger.

"The Home Detention Curfew pilot scheme that Parfitt was released under has failed Nottinghamshire Police, has cost Tracy her husband and has cost Matthew and Rebecca their father."

He confirmed police have held discussions with local probation staff to address the findings of Prof Morgan's inquiry.


SEE ALSO:
Man jailed for police killing
11 Dec 03  |  Nottinghamshire
Accused 'responsible' for Pc's death
08 Dec 03  |  Nottinghamshire
Policeman 'pleaded with driver to stop'
02 Dec 03  |  Nottinghamshire


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific