Murder case officer guilty of misconduct

Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher

Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher

First published in News
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THE detective who cracked the Sian O’Callaghan murder investigation has been found guilty of gross misconduct by an independent panel, the Adver understands.

Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher, who led the investigation into the disappearance and murder of the 22-year-old in March 2011, faced three allegations of gross misconduct over alleged breaches of force policy and the Police and Criminal Evidence Act.

Last night he was reportedly found guilty of gross misconduct on two of the three charges but the Adver understands his sanction – which could include dismissal from the force – has yet to be decided. A spokesman for Wiltshire Police refused to confirm the verdict of the panel and said the outcome would be revealed today.

The spokesman said: “Wiltshire Police will not be in a position to comment on the Formal Conduct Hearing of Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher until this process concludes.

“We would ask media not to speculate on the outcome of the hearing until this finishes. It is likely it will conclude today.”

Last year, the Independent Police Complaints Commission found DSI Fulcher had a case to answer to over breaches of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act while interviewing Sian’s killer Chris Halliwell at Barbury Castle and later in Uffington.

The detective’s actions led to evidence against Chris Halliwell for the murder of Becky Godden-Edwards being ruled inadmissible by a High Court judge, which was the subject of Becky’s father John Godden’s complaint to the police watchdog.

It was said DSI Fulcher failed to caution the 49-year-old mini-cab driver, of Ashbury Avenue, Nythe, when he offered to take him to Sian’s body and to “another one.”

Becky’s body was found in a field in Eastleach shortly after Sian’s was discovered at Uffington, but a judge ruled his confession inadmissible due to breaches of the PACE code.

Halliwell was jailed for life for Sian’s murder but a second charge for Becky’s murder was withdrawn due to a lack of evidence.

The IPCC’s investigation also found DSI Fulcher had two counts of gross misconduct to answer to for going against the force’s media policy and guidance in a press conference and in talking to journalists from ITV and the BBC when instructed not to do so.

The panel, made up of a chief constable and chief superintendent from other forces and an independent member of the public, was tasked with deciding whether DSI Fulcher committed gross misconduct in relation to the case. The panel was directed to be heard in private by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, and Wiltshire Police advised the media to stay away.

Comments (17)

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9:10am Thu 23 Jan 14

silvergran says...

I do feel for this man who thought he was doing the best to solve this case and if he hadn't carried on, the parents of Becky would never have found out what happened to their daughter. It seems that some jobsworth has poked their nose in and ruined a good man's career. Surely he was still under caution for the first offence?
I do feel for this man who thought he was doing the best to solve this case and if he hadn't carried on, the parents of Becky would never have found out what happened to their daughter. It seems that some jobsworth has poked their nose in and ruined a good man's career. Surely he was still under caution for the first offence? silvergran
  • Score: 11

9:18am Thu 23 Jan 14

benzss says...

silvergran wrote:
I do feel for this man who thought he was doing the best to solve this case and if he hadn't carried on, the parents of Becky would never have found out what happened to their daughter. It seems that some jobsworth has poked their nose in and ruined a good man's career. Surely he was still under caution for the first offence?
Rules is rules.

it isn't as if the judiciary cares about ruining good people's lives if there's a technicality to prosecute.

Swings and roundabouts.
[quote][p][bold]silvergran[/bold] wrote: I do feel for this man who thought he was doing the best to solve this case and if he hadn't carried on, the parents of Becky would never have found out what happened to their daughter. It seems that some jobsworth has poked their nose in and ruined a good man's career. Surely he was still under caution for the first offence?[/p][/quote]Rules is rules. it isn't as if the judiciary cares about ruining good people's lives if there's a technicality to prosecute. Swings and roundabouts. benzss
  • Score: -7

9:43am Thu 23 Jan 14

House with no name says...

It should come as no surprise that he was found guilty on these discipline charges because he did in fact breach PACE guidelines which were introduced in the eighties to safeguard the rights of toe rags - His reasons for so doing were wrong in law and led to no one being prosecuted for the murder of the second girl found.

The matter is, I believe, compounded because he held a national training role in these types of enquiries and would have been a role model.

It was only as a result of evidence gained separately that the offender was successfully prosecuted for the murder of the first girl found - otherwise the offender could well not have been prosecuted for either murder.

That said, he was no doubt in a moral dilemma which perhaps clouded his judgement but did directly lead to the discovery of a second murder - his rationale was, as expected, not accepted by the Judge.

I do remember some of the news conferences he held during the enquiries and I found it strange that he always adopted the " I " profile instead of a team " We ".

This case has served to highlight that the rules of PACE favour the toe rags out of all proportion hence the call for the Law to be changed in similar situations and I wish the local lady and local MPs who are canvassing for this change all possible success.

I do hope the Officer is dealt with sympathetically by the internal panel and I would think a reduction in rank would be the likely outcome.
It should come as no surprise that he was found guilty on these discipline charges because he did in fact breach PACE guidelines which were introduced in the eighties to safeguard the rights of toe rags - His reasons for so doing were wrong in law and led to no one being prosecuted for the murder of the second girl found. The matter is, I believe, compounded because he held a national training role in these types of enquiries and would have been a role model. It was only as a result of evidence gained separately that the offender was successfully prosecuted for the murder of the first girl found - otherwise the offender could well not have been prosecuted for either murder. That said, he was no doubt in a moral dilemma which perhaps clouded his judgement but did directly lead to the discovery of a second murder - his rationale was, as expected, not accepted by the Judge. I do remember some of the news conferences he held during the enquiries and I found it strange that he always adopted the " I " profile instead of a team " We ". This case has served to highlight that the rules of PACE favour the toe rags out of all proportion hence the call for the Law to be changed in similar situations and I wish the local lady and local MPs who are canvassing for this change all possible success. I do hope the Officer is dealt with sympathetically by the internal panel and I would think a reduction in rank would be the likely outcome. House with no name
  • Score: -3

10:11am Thu 23 Jan 14

cjones03824 says...

So you have bent coppers all over the place breaking the rules to only suit them selves however someone who does this selflessly to help find a missing girl along and another mystery person is punished.

Had CH been taken back to the station and cautioned first they would have never got him to show them where Becky was! its appalling that Karen has to go through this all because CH the murdering scum bag has to be protected and have his rights. Where were Sian and Beckys rights when he took their lives from them?

Twisted set of rules if you ask me!
So you have bent coppers all over the place breaking the rules to only suit them selves however someone who does this selflessly to help find a missing girl along and another mystery person is punished. Had CH been taken back to the station and cautioned first they would have never got him to show them where Becky was! its appalling that Karen has to go through this all because CH the murdering scum bag has to be protected and have his rights. Where were Sian and Beckys rights when he took their lives from them? Twisted set of rules if you ask me! cjones03824
  • Score: 13

10:27am Thu 23 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

Good to see that he's kept his job.

It is very telling about the current state of our so-called 'justice' system that the families and friends of those who have been murdered are wholly behind good men such as Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher, while the authorities and judiciary prefer to lend their backing to the murderers, criminals and general low lives that now, thanks to their efforts, blight this country with virtual impunity.
Good to see that he's kept his job. It is very telling about the current state of our so-called 'justice' system that the families and friends of those who have been murdered are wholly behind good men such as Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher, while the authorities and judiciary prefer to lend their backing to the murderers, criminals and general low lives that now, thanks to their efforts, blight this country with virtual impunity. ChannelX
  • Score: 8

10:51am Thu 23 Jan 14

benzss says...

ChannelX wrote:
Good to see that he's kept his job.

It is very telling about the current state of our so-called 'justice' system that the families and friends of those who have been murdered are wholly behind good men such as Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher, while the authorities and judiciary prefer to lend their backing to the murderers, criminals and general low lives that now, thanks to their efforts, blight this country with virtual impunity.
I knew you'd shoehorn that in

I swear you're doing this for some kind of bet
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: Good to see that he's kept his job. It is very telling about the current state of our so-called 'justice' system that the families and friends of those who have been murdered are wholly behind good men such as Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher, while the authorities and judiciary prefer to lend their backing to the murderers, criminals and general low lives that now, thanks to their efforts, blight this country with virtual impunity.[/p][/quote]I knew you'd shoehorn that in I swear you're doing this for some kind of bet benzss
  • Score: -2

1:08pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Davey Gravey says...

To show such incompetence in such a massive case is utterly ridiculous. Halliwell would have come clean if correct procedure had been followed anyway.
Lets hope this sorry state of affairs means others won't make such a balls up in the future.
To show such incompetence in such a massive case is utterly ridiculous. Halliwell would have come clean if correct procedure had been followed anyway. Lets hope this sorry state of affairs means others won't make such a balls up in the future. Davey Gravey
  • Score: -7

1:09pm Thu 23 Jan 14

silvergran says...

Glad to see that common sense has prevailed and he has kept his job and hopefully he'll be allowed to get on with it without any more problems.
Glad to see that common sense has prevailed and he has kept his job and hopefully he'll be allowed to get on with it without any more problems. silvergran
  • Score: 8

1:44pm Thu 23 Jan 14

house on the hill says...

benzss wrote:
ChannelX wrote:
Good to see that he's kept his job.

It is very telling about the current state of our so-called 'justice' system that the families and friends of those who have been murdered are wholly behind good men such as Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher, while the authorities and judiciary prefer to lend their backing to the murderers, criminals and general low lives that now, thanks to their efforts, blight this country with virtual impunity.
I knew you'd shoehorn that in

I swear you're doing this for some kind of bet
Or just to wind other people up until they bite possibly???
[quote][p][bold]benzss[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: Good to see that he's kept his job. It is very telling about the current state of our so-called 'justice' system that the families and friends of those who have been murdered are wholly behind good men such as Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher, while the authorities and judiciary prefer to lend their backing to the murderers, criminals and general low lives that now, thanks to their efforts, blight this country with virtual impunity.[/p][/quote]I knew you'd shoehorn that in I swear you're doing this for some kind of bet[/p][/quote]Or just to wind other people up until they bite possibly??? house on the hill
  • Score: -2

4:19pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Phantom Poster says...

benzss wrote:
ChannelX wrote:
Good to see that he's kept his job.

It is very telling about the current state of our so-called 'justice' system that the families and friends of those who have been murdered are wholly behind good men such as Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher, while the authorities and judiciary prefer to lend their backing to the murderers, criminals and general low lives that now, thanks to their efforts, blight this country with virtual impunity.
I knew you'd shoehorn that in

I swear you're doing this for some kind of bet
It's very telling that you don't mention the fact that Becky's father has a different opinion, but that doesn't fit into your simplistic black and white world, does it? Also no mention of the miscarriages of justice which resulted in the PACE guidelines.
[quote][p][bold]benzss[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: Good to see that he's kept his job. It is very telling about the current state of our so-called 'justice' system that the families and friends of those who have been murdered are wholly behind good men such as Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher, while the authorities and judiciary prefer to lend their backing to the murderers, criminals and general low lives that now, thanks to their efforts, blight this country with virtual impunity.[/p][/quote]I knew you'd shoehorn that in I swear you're doing this for some kind of bet[/p][/quote]It's very telling that you don't mention the fact that Becky's father has a different opinion, but that doesn't fit into your simplistic black and white world, does it? Also no mention of the miscarriages of justice which resulted in the PACE guidelines. Phantom Poster
  • Score: -5

4:23pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Phantom Poster says...

Sorry, quoted a reply to the ChannelX post I was addressing
Sorry, quoted a reply to the ChannelX post I was addressing Phantom Poster
  • Score: -4

9:19pm Thu 23 Jan 14

House with no name says...

Who mentioned the Father wasn't happy at the result - Saw him on local news this evening - Pictures tell a thousand words and confirm low life is alive & well in Swindon !
Who mentioned the Father wasn't happy at the result - Saw him on local news this evening - Pictures tell a thousand words and confirm low life is alive & well in Swindon ! House with no name
  • Score: 2

9:48pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Phantom Poster says...

House with no name wrote:
Who mentioned the Father wasn't happy at the result - Saw him on local news this evening - Pictures tell a thousand words and confirm low life is alive & well in Swindon !
I didn't say whether her father was right or wrong - I was just appalled that as usual ChannelX used people he doesn't know or can't ask his opinion of, to uphold his prejudiced view of the world.
[quote][p][bold]House with no name[/bold] wrote: Who mentioned the Father wasn't happy at the result - Saw him on local news this evening - Pictures tell a thousand words and confirm low life is alive & well in Swindon ![/p][/quote]I didn't say whether her father was right or wrong - I was just appalled that as usual ChannelX used people he doesn't know or can't ask his opinion of, to uphold his prejudiced view of the world. Phantom Poster
  • Score: -2

9:59pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Phantom Poster says...

To quote ChannelX:

It is very telling about the current state of our so-called 'justice' system that the families and friends of those who have been murdered are wholly behind good men such as Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher,

So, is the statement of ChannelX true or false? See this link and decide for yourself:
http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/uk-england-wil
tshire-19988242

ChannelX - your self-righteousness brings ridicule upon you!
To quote ChannelX: It is very telling about the current state of our so-called 'justice' system that the families and friends of those who have been murdered are wholly behind good men such as Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher, So, is the statement of ChannelX true or false? See this link and decide for yourself: http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/uk-england-wil tshire-19988242 ChannelX - your self-righteousness brings ridicule upon you! Phantom Poster
  • Score: -1

10:11pm Thu 23 Jan 14

Phantom Poster says...

House with no name wrote:
Who mentioned the Father wasn't happy at the result - Saw him on local news this evening - Pictures tell a thousand words and confirm low life is alive & well in Swindon !
I saw him in the local new this evening really **** off as well. I don't know the guy, but he was obviously not always that way:

http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/uk-england-wil
tshire-19988242
[quote][p][bold]House with no name[/bold] wrote: Who mentioned the Father wasn't happy at the result - Saw him on local news this evening - Pictures tell a thousand words and confirm low life is alive & well in Swindon ![/p][/quote]I saw him in the local new this evening really **** off as well. I don't know the guy, but he was obviously not always that way: http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/uk-england-wil tshire-19988242 Phantom Poster
  • Score: -3

10:20pm Thu 23 Jan 14

The Jockster says...

silvergran wrote:
I do feel for this man who thought he was doing the best to solve this case and if he hadn't carried on, the parents of Becky would never have found out what happened to their daughter. It seems that some jobsworth has poked their nose in and ruined a good man's career. Surely he was still under caution for the first offence?
The jobsworth being Becky's father as it turns out. I happen to know him and I think he's got hold of the wrong end of the stick and taking out his frustration on the police and in particular the very officer who a) nailed Halliwell & b) got him to reveal where he had disposed of Becky's body. Ok he didn't play it by the PACE rules by reading Halliwell his rights but he was concerned that had he done so before Halliwell took him to the location then Halliwell wouldn't have told him where.
Thanks to Steve Fulcher the right man is in prison for both murders even though he was only convicted for Sian O'Callaghan's murder. Thankfully he isn't going to be released anytime soon and Both families at least have closure for two terrible crimes.

I am pleased that DS Fulcher has been able to keep his job because his intentions were honourable even if his methods were flawed.
[quote][p][bold]silvergran[/bold] wrote: I do feel for this man who thought he was doing the best to solve this case and if he hadn't carried on, the parents of Becky would never have found out what happened to their daughter. It seems that some jobsworth has poked their nose in and ruined a good man's career. Surely he was still under caution for the first offence?[/p][/quote]The jobsworth being Becky's father as it turns out. I happen to know him and I think he's got hold of the wrong end of the stick and taking out his frustration on the police and in particular the very officer who a) nailed Halliwell & b) got him to reveal where he had disposed of Becky's body. Ok he didn't play it by the PACE rules by reading Halliwell his rights but he was concerned that had he done so before Halliwell took him to the location then Halliwell wouldn't have told him where. Thanks to Steve Fulcher the right man is in prison for both murders even though he was only convicted for Sian O'Callaghan's murder. Thankfully he isn't going to be released anytime soon and Both families at least have closure for two terrible crimes. I am pleased that DS Fulcher has been able to keep his job because his intentions were honourable even if his methods were flawed. The Jockster
  • Score: 2

1:49pm Fri 24 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

Phantom Poster wrote:
House with no name wrote:
Who mentioned the Father wasn't happy at the result - Saw him on local news this evening - Pictures tell a thousand words and confirm low life is alive & well in Swindon !
I didn't say whether her father was right or wrong - I was just appalled that as usual ChannelX used people he doesn't know or can't ask his opinion of, to uphold his prejudiced view of the world.
Awww, were you really 'appalled' that I used the non-specific term, 'families and friends'?

Even though various family members and friends have been publically quoted as being fully behind Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher?

Were you deeply offended and upset by what I'd written?

Here's hoping.
[quote][p][bold]Phantom Poster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]House with no name[/bold] wrote: Who mentioned the Father wasn't happy at the result - Saw him on local news this evening - Pictures tell a thousand words and confirm low life is alive & well in Swindon ![/p][/quote]I didn't say whether her father was right or wrong - I was just appalled that as usual ChannelX used people he doesn't know or can't ask his opinion of, to uphold his prejudiced view of the world.[/p][/quote]Awww, were you really 'appalled' that I used the non-specific term, 'families and friends'? Even though various family members and friends have been publically quoted as being fully behind Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher? Were you deeply offended and upset by what I'd written? Here's hoping. ChannelX
  • Score: 3

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