Police officer reprimanded over murder trial collapse

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A SOUTH Yorkshire Police officer has admitted misconduct after an Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation into the circumstances surrounding the collapse of a £1 million murder trial.

The officer is to receive a final written warning after admitting two breaches of a code of conduct.

The IPCC conducted an independent investigation after trial judge Mr Justice Sweeney QC criticised South Yorkshire officers when he dismissed the case against six men charged with conspiracy to murder Safrajur Jahangir, from Darnall.

Mr Jahangir, aged 23, was shot dead at the wheel of his car in Scraithwood Road, Shirecliffe, in August 2009.

The IPCC found the officer involved in the murder investigation had ‘failed to effectively manage’ disclosure of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service and defence and showed poor decision making over the assessment of a perceived risk to a prosecution witness.

IPCC Commissioner Nicholas Long said: “It is evident that elements of the investigation into the death of Safrajur Jahangir were poorly handled. Equally it is evident there were issues surrounding the presentation of the case at court and the combined impact was the collapse of the trial and the understandable criticism from the judge.

“There were apparent issues regarding what lines of enquiry were pursued and further issues in relation to what was and was not disclosed to the prosecution and defence at the trial.”

Mr Long added: “The collapse of the trial can only have added to the grief of Mr Jahangir’s family. The trial itself must have been a traumatic experience for the defendants.

“Our investigation has found clear failures, but it has concluded that there is no evidence to suggest this was the result of anything other than poor management and decision making by the officer in charge of the investigation and a lack of experience of those tasked with dealing with disclosure.”

The officer who admitted misconduct and two other members of police staff are to receive advice on disclosure of evidence.