Police watchdog probe into actions of South Yorkshire detective in run up to murder continues

Murder victim Craig Preston
Murder victim Craig Preston

The police watchdog is still investigating allegations of misconduct by a detective over the way threats against a Rotherham man were dealt with before he was murdered.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission, now known as the Independent Office for Police Conduct, is looking into the conduct the South Yorkshire detective had with 34-year-old Craig Preston, from Wath, before he was murdered by his ex-partner and her lover.

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During the investigation into Mr Preston's death in August 2016 detectives established that threats against him had been reported to South Yorkshire Police before his death.

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The IOPC is looking at the actions taken by one detective.

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Mr Preston, also known as Craig Nelson, was found battered to death near to the Woodhead Tunnels, close to the Woodhead Pass, Derbyshire.

His ex, Leonie Mason, 24 and her partner Shiraz Bashir, 42, both of Holme Park Court, Huddersfield, were found guilty of murder, with Bashir jailed for 22 years and Mason sentenced to 19 years behind bars.

Three teenage boys they recruited to help them carry out the killing were found guilty of manslaughter.

Mason, Bashir and their teenage accomplices, killed their victim in a lay-by off Town Lane, Rotherham.

Before leaving the lay-by Bashir took a picture of Mr Preston as he was lying bleeding to death in the boot of Mason's car as a 'souvenir'.

The killers threw Mr Preston's body down a ravine close to the Woodhead Tunnels, where it was found by dog walkers the following day.

During the murder trial, it emerged that two weeks prior to the fatal attack, Mason lured her ex a 'quiet spot' in the Rotherham countryside where Bashir attacked him - but he escaped.

It was this 'set-back' that led to the couple recruiting three young boys, two aged 15 and one 14, to help them with their plan.

The IOPC said its final report into the investigation has not yet been published.