• Wednesday, April 24, 2024

UK News

Officer fired for watching dying Nottingham victims’ footage

The two 19-year-olds Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar were fatally stabbed on June 13 – Image Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

By: Pramod Thomas

A special constable has lost his job for watching footage of two students in their final moments after a brutal attack in Nottingham.

Friends Grace O’Malley Kumar and Barnaby Webber lost their lives after a night out in June last year.

The special constable viewed the footage on his police laptop, showing officers and paramedics trying to help the victims before and after their passing, Sky News said.

The incident came to light during an “accelerated misconduct hearing” chaired by Nottinghamshire Police chief constable Kate Meynell.

This is not the first instance of misconduct related to the case.

PC Matt Gell faced disciplinary action for accessing records about the attacker without reason and sharing inappropriate messages. He also shared a WhatsApp message containing “crude and distasteful” descriptions of the incident with individuals not affiliated with the police.

The special constable dismissed and banned from future police work.

Media reports said nearly 180 police staff had seen related material, but 11 had no valid reason.

The report further said a current investigation into serious misconduct is underway concerning a staff member who was arrested and questioned for accessing evidence without a valid policing reason.

British Indian teenager Grace, her friend Webber and Ian Coates were fatally stabbed to death in June 2023.

Deputy chief constable Steve Cooper said immediate action was taken regarding the WhatsApp message. Some words in the message were crude and distasteful, he said, clarifying that it was a single message and no images were taken or shared.

Sanjoy Kumar, Grace’s father, expressed his dismay, calling it “morbid voyeurism.” He criticised the police for not informing the families about the misconduct hearing.

Barnaby’s mother, Emma Webber, said it was “sickening” and condemned the action as “abhorrent voyeurism.”

“We identified 22 people who had viewed material related to the Nottingham attacks case, also known as Operation Hendrix, which we had concerns about. Following our thorough investigation, we narrowed this down to 11 members of staff who did not have a legitimate reason to view some of the material in this case,” superintendent Andrew Reynolds, head of Nottinghamshire Police’s Professional Standards Directorate, was quoted as saying.

“Eight of these members of staff were handed non-disciplinary performance interventions, which is focused around learning, and three faced formal discipline – one member of staff has been sacked, one handed a final written warning and one is waiting for their misconduct hearing to be heard.”

The families have been assured that appropriate action is being taken against those involved in such behaviour.

Earlier this week, Attorney General Victoria Prentice has informed the families that the Court of Appeal will review whether the attacker’s sentence was too lenient.

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