Fred West: Police explain why Gloucester's Clean Plate cafe search was rejected in 2012

The Clean Plate cafe, which was called the Oasis Cafe in 2012, has been investigated since Friday. Credit: BPM Media

Gloucestershire Police rejected a 2012 petition asking them to search the Clean Plate cafe for the body of a missing teenager, feared murdered by Fred West.

After pursuing more than 250 leads into the case of missing Mary Bastholm the Chief Constable of the force, Tony Melville, deemed there was insufficient evidence to investigate the cafe.

More than 100 people were interviewed, including West, in relation to Mary's disappearance in 1968.

But police have been searching the site since Friday after evidence of a body was found by an ITV production crew who were filming a Trevor McDonald documentary on Fred and Rose West.

In an official statement on its website Gloucestershire Police said it would look at the cafe further if any fresh evidence came to light to link it to the case.

"The Fred West inquiry was the biggest investigation the Constabulary has ever undertaken but also the most harrowing.

"The case has left an indelible mark on so many in Gloucester, but for those who worked on the case what they dealt with will live with them forever.

"Despite enquiries no evidence was found at the time to support arresting Fred West in connection with Mary Bastholm."

The statement also confirmed that West was interviewed on a total of 151 occasions with the length of these being approximately 110 hours.

During his last interview at Gloucester Police Station in May 1994 he denied having anything to do with Mary's disappearance.

The cafe currently being investigated by police has been linked to Fred West and teenager Mary Bastholm, who disappeared in 1968. Credit: PA

"Fred West was questioned about her disappearance in interview but he denied any involvement," the statement on the website continued.

"He said that Heather West was his last victim and that he had committed no other murders.

"The Constabulary's current focus is the potential evidence discovered by the production company at the Clean Plate cafe last week and that is where our resources are being directed.

"We plan to continue forensic assessments at the location until Monday, before a more considered decision around the extent of excavation can be made."

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