Wiltshire

Becky Godden misconduct detective Steve Fulcher resigns

Steve Fulcher
Steve Fulcher was led by Christopher Halliwell to the body of Becky Godden

The detective who failed to follow arrest guidelines in a double murder case in Wiltshire has resigned.

Det Supt Steve Fulcher did not caution taxi driver Christopher Halliwell when he led the police officer to the grave of Becky Godden in 2011.

Halliwell was not charged over her death, but was found guilty of murdering Sian O'Callaghan.

After an inquiry by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) the officer was allowed to keep his job.

The detective was given a final written warning following a three-day private hearing.

Mr Fulcher was found guilty of breaching police guidelines for arrests and a second charge relating to contact with the media.

Miss Godden was last seen alive by a police officer in Swindon in December 2002.

'Such a waste'

Taxi driver Halliwell was jailed for life in 2012 for the murder of Sian O'Callaghan the previous year.

Miss Godden's mother Karen Edwards said: "It's really going to be such a waste of an extremely experienced detective who I know has solved so many crimes."

She added that she hoped he would be employed by another force and it was a sign that arrest guideline rules had to be changed.

Ms Edwards added: "Had he have followed the guidelines, then Becky would never have been found, she would have never have come into the equation and Sian would have still have been where he moved her to.

"No-one would have found Sian in a million years where they found her, where he dumped her body.

Becky Godden
Becky Godden's body was found during the search for Sian O'Callaghan

"It was Steve Fulcher's experience. OK, he bent rules - but he bent them for good reason."

'Dedicated'

A bone belonging to Miss Godden was discovered at the Cotswold beauty spot where her remains were found earlier this month.

Wiltshire Police said the bone and "other items" were recovered as part of a re-investigation into Miss Godden's death but did not elaborate what they were.

Eamonn Caroll, assistant secretary of The Police Superintendents' Association, which previously supported Mr Fulcher, said it was not aware of the reasons behind his resignation.

"It is obviously a decision he has made. The association supported Steve Fulcher when he was under investigation by the IPCC and at his subsequent disciplinary hearing," he said.

"He was a dedicated police officer who had a lot to offer the police service.

"In light of his decision, we wish him well for the future."

Mr Caroll said Mr Fulcher had not been in contact with the association to inform them of his decision.

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