Katie Simpson Ombudsman report highlights 'red flags ignored'

UTV has seen parts of a Police Ombudsman Report into the death of Co Armagh show jumper Katie Simpson in 2020.

The 21 year old died after an incident at a property in Gortnessy Medaows on the 3 August.

Her sister's long term partner Jonathan Creswell was charged with Katie's murder and rape in 2021.

The 36 year old was dead at home 24 hours after the trial started back in April this year.

Concerns were raised by her family and friends into the initial police investigation.

From the extracts UTV has seen the Ombudsman found a number of police failures and missed opportunities.

It found "responding officers in particular failed to adopt an investigative mindset...Several officers have talked of taking Creswell at face value. They are trained police officers who should have set about satisfying themselves that this was a non-suspicious death...red flags were ignored.

"This is in part due to a lack of experience with one constable attending the scene "six days out of training."

The prosecution claimed Crewsell was in an illicit relationship with the young women and he strangled her out of jealously and then tried to cover his tracks by making her death look like suicide.

Something police believed at the time.

In 2010 the former jockey was jailed for six months after pleading guilty to assaulting an ex girlfriend.

Complaints were made against 18 officers ranging in rank from Constable to Detective Chief Inspector.

In the report one DCI said; "Creswell's previous conviction or being a bad boy does not make him a murderer and evidence was required"

Six of those officers have been recommended for disciplinary action for misconduct.

In a statement the PSNI said: "The Police Service of Northern Ireland can confirm that we have received an investigation file from the Office of the Police Ombudsman, which is currently being considered. It would therefore be inappropriate to make any further comment at this time."

The Police Ombudsman said: "Given that disciplinary-related processes have not yet concluded and, as a result, we have not yet been able to communicate our findings and the outcome of our investigation with Katie’s family, it is concerning that details of our misconduct file would now appear to be in the public domain. In this context it would be inappropriate for us to make any comment."

Katie's family through their legal representative Kevin Winters have told us they want access to the full findings as soon as is legally possible.

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