Police apology over 1998 Dowling domestic abuse case

Bill Dowling and Victoria Rose Bill Dowling shot Victoria Rose twice in the head before turning the gun on himself in Devizes in March last year

Related Stories

Wiltshire police has apologised after being accused of brushing a domestic abuse case complaint "under the carpet".

The claim was made during an inquest into the deaths of a retired police inspector and his former partner.

Bill Dowling shot Victoria Rose twice in the head before turning the gun on himself in Devizes in March last year.

Mr Dowling's ex-wife Pauline Simmons said she told police in 1998 that he abused her but her claim was dismissed.

Mrs Simmons said police officers sided with Mr Dowling at the time, and claimed the case was "brushed under the carpet" because it might hurt his career.

Wiltshire Police has apologised to Mrs Simmons and said its approach in 1998 fell "significantly below" what was expected today.

Chief Superintendant Kier Pritchard said local and national processes had since "changed dramatically".

He said: "We are now extremely victim-focussed, and we take reports of domestic abuse really seriously."

He said there was a "different culture" in 1998 and said today officers were "dealt with robustly" for any offence, including domestic abuse.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Wiltshire

Weather

Swindon

Min. Night 8 °C

Features

  • How ebola spread graphicPatient zero

    How one boy’s death triggered Ebola outbreak


  • Passport control at airportNews quiz

    How much do you know about migration?


  • Phillip Hughes playing cricket for Australia in September 2014Brain trauma

    How is the brain injured and protected from injury?


  • Passengers pushing planeHeave!

    How many people does it take to push a plane?


  • Complainant'Like being in hell'

    The story of one victim of paedophile care home boss


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.