Georgia Williams murder: Mother calls for IPCC probe

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Media captionGeorgia's killer Jamie Reynolds had been cautioned after trying to strangle another teenage girl in 2008

The mother of a murdered teenager has criticised an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) decision not to investigate police contact with her killer.

Georgia Williams was strangled in a sexually motivated attack by Jamie Reynolds in Shropshire last May.

He was cautioned by West Mercia Police after trying to strangle another teenage girl in 2008, but not charged.

Georgia's mother Lynette called on the watchdog to mount a full investigation.

She said she believed her daughter could still be alive if police had been more thorough during their earlier dealings with Reynolds.

The IPCC said it felt the public interest was best served by West Mercia Police investigating the complaint.

If the family had concerns with the outcome, an appeal could then be made to the IPCC, it said.

'Changed her life'

The force referred its handling of previous incidents involving Reynolds, 23, to the IPCC in January "with the strong recommendation that an investigation be carried out".

But this month the IPCC - which can mount its own investigation, order an internal case or call on a different police force to investigate - referred the complaint back for it to be handled internally.

Reynolds, branded a "sexual deviant" by a judge, lured Georgia back to his home in Wellington, Shropshire, before he committed her "carefully planned" murder.

In December, a court was told at the time of his arrest, he had 16,800 images and 72 videos of extreme pornography on his computer.

Ordering Reynolds to spend the rest of his life in jail, Mr Justice Wilkie said he accepted a psychiatric assessment of him that found he "had the potential to progressing to become a serial killer".

Mrs Williams, whose husband Steven is a detective with West Mercia Police, said officers should have realised Reynolds was dangerous after he attacked his first victim.

She said: "In 2008, Reynolds mirrored an attack basically that he committed on Georgia in that, he lured a girl round on the pretext of helping him out with a project and then there was a violent attack where he attempted to strangle her.

"Thankfully, she managed to escape, but it has traumatised her and it has totally changed her life."

Image caption Mrs Williams said earlier complaints against Georgia's killer were not properly investigated
Image caption Georgia's father Steven is a detective with the force
Image copyright West Mercia Police
Image caption Jamie Reynolds had the potential to become a serial killer, his trial heard

Both Georgia's family and Reynolds's earlier victim lodged complaints with West Mercia Police over its "poor" handling of the incident, Mrs Williams said.

She said: "As parents, we feel that had it been investigated properly, we wouldn't be in this situation.

"I did get very angry with the police because I felt that if they had dealt with it properly in 2008 everyone would have known about his past, they would have known what he was like with girls.

"Obviously, I wouldn't have let Georgia anywhere near him.

"The young girl that was attacked has put in a complaint as she feels she wasn't dealt with properly at that time and ever since - she was interviewed initially, then that was it she had no other contact with the police.

"His [Reynolds] stepdad did actually go up with more evidence, some photographic evidence that he had found on his computer, and that was presented to the police and that was never acted upon."

The photos were of two girls with nooses superimposed around their necks and a photograph depicting pornographic scenes of a man raping, strangling and killing a girl, she said.

Mrs Williams said photos of Georgia's older sister Scarlett were also found on his hard drives.

'Fair and transparent'

Mrs Williams said: "I want the police to change how they view these attacks, I want police officers investigated properly, which is why I want the IPCC to do it, not another force."

IPCC commissioner Derrick Campbell said he had given the complaint "careful consideration".

"I have decided that the public interest is best served by West Mercia Police demonstrating that they are capable of conducting an open, fair and transparent investigation into this matter," Mr Campbell said.

If the force's investigation identified any misconduct "one would expect suitable action to be taken," he added.

"Following a local investigation the complainants will, if dissatisfied with the investigation, have a right of appeal to the IPCC and if necessary the IPCC will be able to direct further investigation," Mr Campbell said.

West Mercia Police said it was deciding how best to proceed with its own investigation.

"We take the concerns around these previous incidents very seriously and following the outcome of our referral to the IPCC we are reviewing their recommendation and how this investigation will progress," a spokesman said.

A separate independent review is also being conducted into various agencies' involvement with Reynolds before the murder.

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