A coroner has today reported South Yorkshire Police to the Independent Office for Police Conduct over the death of a Sheffield man who took his own life.
Alan Bailey, of Far View Road, Sheffield Lane Top, died on May 19, 2010, at Millers Dale in Derbyshire, after having stabbed himself in the chest. He was 57-years-old.
In the months preceding his death, Mr Bailey had been investigated and charged over allegations of sexual abuse and rape.
However, Mr Bailey had complained four times to South Yorkshire Police about being harassed by a third party in the case - none of which were acted on by officers.
As a result, Mr Bailey reportedly lost all confidence in the force, his mental state deteriorated and he had begun to self harm.
Dr Robert Hunter, senior coroner for Derby and Derbyshire, said Mr Bailey had been let down by South Yorkshire Police.
He said: “I feel Mr Bailey would have been better served by the Keystone Cops rather than South Yorkshire Police.
“When a complaint is made the police have a duty to investigate it thoroughly.
“Mr Bailey called the police four times and each time his concerns were dismissed.”
As a result of his findings, Dr Hunter said he would be referring South Yorkshire Police to the Independent Office for Police Conduct on two counts - one regarding the way the force had handled the family’s complaint after Mr Bailey’s death and one on account of the actions of one of the lead investigators in the case, Detective Constable - now Acting Detective Inspector - Aneela Khalil-Khan.
Dr Hunter described her investigation as ‘incompetent’ and said that there were ‘serious questions about her conduct and probity that needed to be addressed’.
A South Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “We are aware that the coroner, after recording Mr Bailey's death in 2010 as suicide, made comment about South Yorkshire Police's care for him following charge and into the subsequent investigation into his death.
“The coroner did recognise that our practices have improved significantly since 2010, and so no recommendations were made.
“As the coroner has referred the matter to the Independent Office for Police Complaints (IOPC) we are not able to comment further at this time but will do so following the IOPCs findings.”