Cornwall

Josh Clayton: Police apologise to mum over death probe

Josh Clayton
Image caption Mr Clayton was described as popular and sociable by those who worked with him on Tresco

Police have apologised to the mother of a barman over their handling of the investigation into his death on a private holiday island.

Josh Clayton disappeared while working on the Isles of Scilly in 2015.

His mother Tracey Clayton complained about Devon and Cornwall Police's investigation including a sergeant's decision to use a "water diviner".

The force apologised and said it failed to meet the "high levels of service we aspired to in the investigation".

The body of Mr Clayton, 23, from Taunton, Somerset, was found on rocks near the island of Tresco in September 2015 - 10 days after he went missing.

He had been working as a bar manager and was last seen alive at an end of season party for staff on the privately-owned island.

Mrs Clayton said officers "botched" the investigation and were the reason why she still does not know what happened to her son.

Two professional standards reports seen by the BBC found issues with the way the investigation had been conducted.

Image caption Tracey Clayton plans to set up a charity in her son's name to help other people who have loved ones go missing

Mrs Clayton also clashed with Sgt Colin Taylor - aka the Scilly Sergeant - who confronted her in a pub after she questioned his methods.

Speaking after a three hour meeting with the police, Mrs Clayton said: "They were just very apologetic for the way that the whole of the first investigation was run, which helps to vindicate what I was saying in the beginning, but it doesn't help because there was a lot of missed opportunities which we will never get back again."

She said the "inadequacies" of the first investigation meant there was no way she would learn conclusively what happened to her son unless someone came forward with fresh evidence.

Det Ch Supt Steve Parker said there were a "number of organisational learning points" for the force which it is has "fully implemented".

He added the inquest and all of the investigations found "no evidence of third-party involvement in Josh's unfortunate death".

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