Manchester

Linzi Ashton murder: GMP officer faces gross misconduct probe

Linzi Ashton
Image caption Linzi Ashton had been sexually assaulted in the months prior to her death

A police officer faces a misconduct investigation after a mother reported rape and assaults by her ex-partner, two months before he killed her.

Linzi Ashton, 25, was found dead in her home in Westbourne Road, Winton, Salford, on 29 June 2013.

Michael Cope, 28, was jailed in January for 27 years for murdering Ms Ashton in a "savage and sustained attack".

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it had served a gross misconduct notice on an officer.

The watchdog investigated the mother-of-two's contact with Greater Manchester Police in the months leading up to her death.

Ms Ashton had told police she was was raped and assaulted by Cope in April 2013 and assaulted by him again in the following month.

Cope later admitted these assaults and the judge ordered the rape allegations to lie on the file.

Dismissal threat

An IPCC spokesman said: "IPCC investigators examining contact GMP had with Linzi Ashton in the weeks before she was murdered by Michael Cope have served a gross misconduct notice on a serving officer.

"The notice informs the officer that they are under investigation for actions that could potentially lead to their dismissal from the police service."

The force has previously faced criticism for its failure to protect victims of domestic violence.

The IPCC concluded there was "individual and systemic" failures by its officers in the case of Clare Wood, who made several complaints to police before she was strangled and burnt by a violent and obsessive ex-boyfriend in Salford in 2009.

A Greater Manchester Police spokeswoman said the force would not comment on the IPCC investigation.

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