Jefferies gets police apology

Christopher Jefferies, who won libel damages after his arrest over the murder of Joanna Yeates, has received a full letter of exoneration from Avon and Somerset Police.

West Country (E)

Statement from Avon & Somerset Police

The media attention and villification to which Christopher Jefferies was subjected during the Joanna Yeates murder investigation was unprecedented, and I understand how difficult it must have been for him.

It was a complex investigation, carried out under the most intense public scrutiny and the investigating officer had to pursue every reasonable line of enquiry.

Although I was not Chief Constable then, I stand by the decision taken at the time to arrest and interview Christopher Jefferies.

Nevertheless I am happy to accede to his request that we should make it clear that he was completely exonerated in this investigation. This is an unusual step to take but these were exceptional circumstances.

– Nick Gargan, Avon & Somerset Chief Constable

Advertisement

Christopher Jeffries calls for anonymity for suspects

Christopher Jefferies said the "horrifying experience" of his arrest led him to believe that suspects should not be named unless they are charged with an offence.

He said that during the nine weeks he spent on bail it was impossible for him to return to his flat or live "anything approaching a normal life".

I think that would be certainly an important step and it would prevent a great deal, certainly, of the distress which happened to members of my family, quite apart from what happened to me, because I think one shouldn't underestimate the way in which their lives were changed during the days that I was in custody as a result of the media harassment and the media intrusion.

Jefferies: Apology 'provides important conclusion'

Christopher Jefferies said:

It provides an important conclusion to the whole aftermath of what I had to go through following my arrest.

As the letter itself explains it provides the public vindication which was not given at the time I was released from police bail.

Although the letter is addressed to me and is therefore expressing regret at what I had to endure, the letter also implicitly provides the public acceptance that the events didn't just affect me but affected a large circle of my relatives and friends.

Advertisement

Jefferies gets letter of apology from police over arrest

Christopher Jefferies, a retired teacher, was wrongly arrested over the murder of Joanna Yeates. Credit: PA

The innocent landlord of murdered landscape architect Joanna Yeates has received a letter from police expressing "regret" for the first time at the way he was treated after being arrested over her killing.

Christopher Jefferies hailed what he described as "public vindication" from Avon and Somerset Police over its handling of his detention, bail and subsequent release without charge after 25-year-old Miss Yeates' death in December 2010.

The "letter of exoneration expressing regret" from chief constable Nick Gargan - who met the retired teacher last Friday - acknowledged the "hurt" caused to the 68-year-old retired teacher when the force failed to clear him publicly of suspicion over Miss Yeates' murder.

Press victim Jefferies: 'Disaster' if Cameron ignores Leveson