Page last updated at 10:47 GMT, Monday, 14 May 2007 11:47 UK

Stirland report referred to CPS

Joan and John Stirland
The Stirlands were shot dead at their seaside bungalow

A police watchdog is to pass a report into the actions of officers prior to the murder of a Nottinghamshire couple to the Crown Prosecution Service.

John and Joan Stirland were shot in their bungalow in August 2004 in a gangland-style execution.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission looked at the communication between Notts and Lincs police to see if enough was done to protect the pair.

Mrs Stirland had reported seeing a prowler several hours before her death.

Revenge attack

The decision to send an advice file to the CPS means individual officers could be charged with criminal offences.

During the trial of John Russell, 29, of Northcote Way, Nottingham, Michael McNee, 21, of no fixed address and a 39-year-old man who cannot be named , the court heard the motive for the killings was revenge for a murder carried out by Mrs Stirland's son, Michael O'Brien, in Nottingham in 2003.

The three men were given life sentences for conspiracy to murder in August 2006.

Mr Stirland, 55, and his 51-year-old wife were forced to flee after a gun attack on their former home and moved to Trusthorpe, where they were killed eight months later.

A spokesperson from the CPS said it could take up to 12 months to decide whether or not to take the findings further.



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The events that led to the Stirlands' murders



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