Wiltshire Detective Steve Fulcher will be required to attend a formal conduct hearing. The IPCC said he committed gross misconduct, according to an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Wiltshire Detective Steve Fulcher will be required to attend a formal conduct hearing.
This is after the IPCC announced that DS Fulcher had a case to answer for gross misconduct.
This is a complex and emotive matter that involves a number of parties. We believe that it is important that this should be dealt with through the right process, fairly, independently and in an open and transparent manner. We are currently in the process of arranging the conduct hearing with an independent panel of senior officers from other forces so that due process can continue. Wiltshire Police are continuing to offer welfare support to D/Supt Fulcher throughout this on-going process.”
A top police officer has been accused of gross misconduct over his handling of a high profile double murder case in Wiltshire. Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher led the investigation into the murders of Sian O'Callaghan and Rebecca Godden.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission says he ignored rules over the questioning of suspect Christopher Halliwell. And he ignored orders from his own force. Wiltshire police says its taking the matter very seriously and is carefully considering the IPCC's recommendations.
We can confirm that we have received a copy of the IPCC’s report. We are taking this matter very seriously and we are currently in the process of carefully considering the recommendations made within the report and our subsequent response to the IPCC. We will be taking into account the needs of the families whilst deliberating the recommendations. Wiltshire Police are continuing to offer welfare support to D/Supt Fulcher throughout this on-going process. It would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this stage.”
This investigation has been a highly unusual one, as the majority of facts, in particular in relation to Mr Godden's complaint, are undisputed and already in the public domain.
We will never know what may have happened if the PACE Codes had been followed. However, Detective Superintendent Fulcher's actions were in deliberate breach of PACE and we find that he has a case to answer for gross misconduct.
Also, Detective Superintendent Fulcher, despite no longer having responsibility for Operation Mayan, and against express orders, went ahead with meetings about the case with journalists from both the BBC and ITV.
This behaviour is even more extraordinary when set in the context that the trial Judge had already considered whether force press conferences given by Detective Superintendent Fulcher were prejudicial to the case against Halliwell.
We find that he has a case for gross misconduct for this as well and it will now be for Wiltshire Police to decide what action to take and I await their proposals.”
The Police watchdog the IPCC said DS Steve Fulcher has a case to answer for gross misconduct after he breached the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) forinterviewing murder suspect Christopher Halliwell in the back of a police car, during which he confessed to killing Becky Godden-Edwards.
Evidence was later withdrawn and declared inadmissible by a High Court judge.
Halliwell made a confession while he was under arrest for the murder of Sian O'Callaghan.
Detective Superintendant Fulcher was also found to have had inappropriate contact with the mediaduring the investigation when he conducted interviews with the BBC and ITV, despite no longer heading up the case.
He was suspended from Wiltshire Police on full pay, but was later reinstated.
Detective Superintendant Steve Fulcher, who lead the Sian O'Callaghan murder investigation in Wiltshire, is accused of committing gross misconduct, in an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.