Swindon AdvertiserMurder case officer quits (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Murder case officer quits

Swindon Advertiser: DSI Steve Fulcher DSI Steve Fulcher

THE detective who led the Sian O’Callaghan murder inquiry has quit his job at Wiltshire Police months after being found guilty of misconduct.

Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher led the investigation into the popular 22-year-old’s disappearance from Old Town in March 2011 and subsequently secured the conviction of her killer Chris Halliwell, 50, of Ashbury Avenue, Nythe.

But he faced disciplinary action after a judge ruled his unorthodox interviews of the mini-cab driver, at Barbury Castle and Uffington, without cautioning him, meant vital evidence in the Becky Godden-Edwards case was ruled inadmissible and led to the charge for her murder being withdrawn.

An Independent Police Complaints Commission report found that Mr Fulcher had a case to answer over breaches of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act and in ignoring force orders in disclosures to the media.

These were put to him at a force disciplinary hearing in January, when an independent panel of senior officers resolved to find him guilty of two counts of gross misconduct.

But he was allowed to keep his job after he was given a final written warning by the force.

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police yesterday said: “Wiltshire Police can confirm that Steve Fulcher has resigned from his post in the force.

“It would be inappropriate to comment further on this matter.”

Becky’s mother Karen Edwards reacted with shock at the news.

The 52-year-old said: “I feel that this is going to be such a waste from such a wonderful, experienced detective.

“He is and will always be my hero and I will always be eternally grateful.

“I have such admiration for him, I have said it many times before if he had stuck to PACE rules then neither my daughter Becky or Sian would have been found.

“We all know that the rules say once Halliwell had confessed to Sian’s murder he should have been taken straight back to the police station.

“Becky would never have come into the equation, and Sian would have never been recovered from where she was found.

“Steve Fulcher gave two families back their two daughters and we were able to put them to rest.

“This makes the changes in the PACE rules even more needed now, had our rules been different none of this would be happening.

“I have been in contact with other families that Steve Fulcher has helped over the years in solving very difficult murders and they feel the same as I do, without him they might have never buried their family member.

“I would like to thank Steve Fulcher from the bottom of my heart for all he has done for us.”

Mr Fulcher, who has a degree in criminology from the University of Cambridge, joined Sussex Police in 1986 before moving to Wiltshire in 2003.

In Sussex he was involved with the Sara Payne murder inquiry, and in Wiltshire, as a senior investigating officer, he has been in charge of a number of high-profile murder investigations.

Eamonn Caroll, the assistant secretary of the PSAEW, called the detective a dedicated officer.

He said: “The Police Superintendents’ Association is aware of the decision of DSI Steve Fulcher to resign from Wiltshire Police.

“The association supported Steve Fulcher when he was under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission and at his subsequent disciplinary hearing.

“He was a dedicated police officer who had a lot to offer the police service.

“In light of his decision, we wish him well for the future.”

 

 

Comments (9)

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7:39am Fri 16 May 14

silvergran says...

A great shame he has resigned, what a waste of an experienced police officer.
A great shame he has resigned, what a waste of an experienced police officer. silvergran
  • Score: 13

8:31am Fri 16 May 14

ChannelX says...

Sometimes, the rules are wrong. This man, unlike most in the Criminal Justice System, put the victims and their families ahead of the criminals.

For that, a talented man has felt forced to resign.

Unfortunately, it's just another bonus for the criminals.
Sometimes, the rules are wrong. This man, unlike most in the Criminal Justice System, put the victims and their families ahead of the criminals. For that, a talented man has felt forced to resign. Unfortunately, it's just another bonus for the criminals. ChannelX
  • Score: 18

9:05am Fri 16 May 14

umpcah says...

The Police Force cant afford to lose good men in this way.
The Police Force cant afford to lose good men in this way. umpcah
  • Score: 14

9:25am Fri 16 May 14

Wildwestener says...

ChannelX wrote:
Sometimes, the rules are wrong. This man, unlike most in the Criminal Justice System, put the victims and their families ahead of the criminals.

For that, a talented man has felt forced to resign.

Unfortunately, it's just another bonus for the criminals.
This is spot on. He has been damned for doing the right thing by the victims and their families. Very sad for him.
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: Sometimes, the rules are wrong. This man, unlike most in the Criminal Justice System, put the victims and their families ahead of the criminals. For that, a talented man has felt forced to resign. Unfortunately, it's just another bonus for the criminals.[/p][/quote]This is spot on. He has been damned for doing the right thing by the victims and their families. Very sad for him. Wildwestener
  • Score: 16

10:41am Fri 16 May 14

swindondad says...

I understand WHY Steve Fulcher chose to act outside the boundaries of PACE but the media attention on the case and the result of the inquiry has made his position untenable so I am not surprised that he has resigned.

IMHO it is a shame to loose a officer who so clearly put the needs of the victim at the top of his priority list.
I understand WHY Steve Fulcher chose to act outside the boundaries of PACE but the media attention on the case and the result of the inquiry has made his position untenable so I am not surprised that he has resigned. IMHO it is a shame to loose a officer who so clearly put the needs of the victim at the top of his priority list. swindondad
  • Score: 9

10:45am Fri 16 May 14

twasadawf says...

This should never have happened a good copper doing the right thing, it's like having all the evidence and not using it guess that's what make's the brave stand out from the weak
This should never have happened a good copper doing the right thing, it's like having all the evidence and not using it guess that's what make's the brave stand out from the weak twasadawf
  • Score: 10

10:48am Fri 16 May 14

Robh says...

It is no wonder he has resigned with the constant vile and offensive comments on the Justice for Becky Facebook site.

This police officer had the ear of Halliwell and probably thought that 2 murders was not the end of the matter. How many other young ladies have gone missing without the family reporting it?
It is no wonder he has resigned with the constant vile and offensive comments on the Justice for Becky Facebook site. This police officer had the ear of Halliwell and probably thought that 2 murders was not the end of the matter. How many other young ladies have gone missing without the family reporting it? Robh
  • Score: 9

11:06am Fri 16 May 14

Davey Gravey says...

Shame it's come to this but he did make a monumental mistake. Someone in his position should not have done.
Shame it's come to this but he did make a monumental mistake. Someone in his position should not have done. Davey Gravey
  • Score: -15

3:24pm Fri 16 May 14

Wiltshirereader says...

OF COURSE the Police must act according to the rules, but WHEN ALL SAID AND DONE HE DID GET THE MURDERER DIDN'T HE!!! iT COULD HAVE BEEN LEFT AN UNSOLVED CRIME AND THEN WHERE WOULD THE POOR FAMILIES BE?

A great shame, it seems he acted with the best intentions.
OF COURSE the Police must act according to the rules, but WHEN ALL SAID AND DONE HE DID GET THE MURDERER DIDN'T HE!!! iT COULD HAVE BEEN LEFT AN UNSOLVED CRIME AND THEN WHERE WOULD THE POOR FAMILIES BE? A great shame, it seems he acted with the best intentions. Wiltshirereader
  • Score: 6

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