Wales

Mum's police complaint over Christopher Kapessa river death

Christopher Kapessa Image copyright family photo
Image caption Christopher Kapessa's body was found in a river on 1 July

The mother of a 13-year-old boy whose body was found in a river has complained about how South Wales Police handled his death.

A discrimination complaint against the force has been lodged by charity The Monitoring Group on behalf of Christopher Kapessa's mother, Alina Joseph.

Christopher's body was found in a river in Fernhill, Mountain Ash, on 1 July.

South Wales Police confirmed it has received a complaint.

The Monitoring Group describes itself as a "charity that promotes civil rights and race relations".

Its director Suresh Grover said the investigation had not been conducted properly and the family discriminated against "because of their ethnic origin".

"Within 24 hours the police decided that Christopher met his death in an accident. That was too little time to make the assessment properly," he said.

"They did not not examine the evidence as they should have."

'Distraught'

He added: "No mother should be going through a process of trying to complain against the police, when she should really be grieving, remembering her son and laying him to rest.

"She is very very distraught.

"Losing a child, so suddenly and in such tragic circumstances is very difficult for anybody to manage.

"Christopher was very loved - thankfully she had a huge amount of people supporting her - there are some people who haven't, but she's had many friends, relatives and neighbours giving the support she needs."

Image caption The main road in Mountain Ash was closed while police attended the scene

Hilary Brown, from Race Alliance Wales, which is also helping Ms Joseph, said: "We call for a full police investigation into the death of Christopher as well as a full investigation into the failures of not only South Wales Police but other authorities who have also failed this family."

The force said an investigation into the death was continuing.

In response to the complaint, it said: "It has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct under the mandatory referral criteria.

"South Wales Police will co-operate fully with the Independent Office for Police Conduct."

Christopher's funeral will be on Friday at 10:30 BST at St Margaret's Church, Mountain Ash.

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