England

IPCC reviews Stephen Beattie 'botched' police cases

  • 14 June 2013
  • From the section England

More than 300 cases potentially botched by a scenes of crime officer, including suspicious deaths and arsons, are being reviewed by the police watchdog.

Stephen Beattie, 49, allegedly lied about his qualifications while working for Staffordshire and Cleveland police.

His work first came under scrutiny from the Independent Police Complaints Commission in 2011 for allegations he "undermined dozens of criminal cases."

It said 355 of his cases were being looked at again.

In August, the IPCC revealed it was re-examining 90 cases involving suspicious deaths but that had now risen to 141, it said.

'Huge task'

Investigators have so far found eight suspicious death cases on Teesside that could have been tainted, the IPCC said.

More than 200 arson cases are also being looked at and 16 have been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for consideration of potential prosecution.

IPCC commissioner Cindy Butts said the inquiry spanned a 15-year period.

She said: "The examination of those cases is ongoing but is a huge task and will take several more months.

"The most significant cases have been prioritised and any additional work identified has been acted on immediately."

'Substandard work'

Cleveland Police has so far reviewed 90 of the 141 suspicious death investigations Mr Beattie had worked on.

It said families affected by these cases had been kept informed.

Staffordshire Police said it was looking at 1,570 scenes of crime report forms and had found 32 needed further analysis.

Mr Beattie, who worked for Staffordshire Police from 1996 to 2002 and Cleveland Police from 2002 to 2011, was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice in May 2011 and remains on bail.

He faces allegations he potentially undermined investigations with substandard work and lied about his qualifications when involved in arson cases.

He was suspended from duty by Cleveland Police in February 2011 and resigned in October 2011.

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