IPCC investigation into Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher finds a case for gross misconduct

Sep 9, 2013

The Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation into complaints made against Detective Superintendent Stephen Fulcher has found a case to answer for gross misconduct for breaches of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act and for ignoring force orders.

The independent investigation into the conduct of Detective Superintendent Fulcher during Operation Mayan has now been completed and published today on the IPCC website – http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/investigations/stephen-fulcher-wiltshire-constabulary .

Operation Mayan was the police investigation into the disappearance of Sian O'Callaghan from Swindon in March 2011. Christopher Halliwell was convicted for the murder of Sian O'Callaghan.

Three separate matters were investigated by the IPCC. The first followed a complaint from John Godden that Detective Superintendent Fulcher's actions led to the charge against Halliwell for the unlawful killing of his daughter Rebecca being dropped.

The second and third were matters referred to the IPCC concerning Detective Superintendent Fulcher's release of information to the media and his contact with members of the media in connection with Operation Mayan.

IPCC Deputy Chair Rachel Cerfontyne said: "This is a difficult time for all concerned with this case and especially the families and friends of Sian and Becky, especially after all they have already had to endure.

"This investigation has been a highly unusual one, as the majority of facts, in particular in relation to Mr Godden's complaint, are undisputed and already in the public domain.

"We will never know what may have happened if the PACE Codes had been followed. However, Detective Superintendent Fulcher's actions were in deliberate breach of PACE and we find that he has a case to answer for gross misconduct.

"Also, Detective Superintendent Fulcher, despite no longer having responsibility for Operation Mayan, and against express orders, went ahead with meetings about the case with journalists from both the BBC and ITV.

"This behaviour is even more extraordinary when set in the context that the trial Judge had already considered whether force press conferences given by Detective Superintendent Fulcher were prejudicial to the case against Halliwell.

"We find that he has a case for gross misconduct for this as well and it will now be for Wiltshire Police to decide what action to take and I await their proposals.”

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