Thu, 24 Feb 2011
The family of a Black Country police worker killed by a tram after arguing with her ex-fiance today hit out at “shambolic” police failures as an inquest returned an open verdict on her death.
Relatives of Cheryl Flanagan say the catalogue of errors by British Tranport Police mean justice has not been done.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission today revealed an unnamed inspector had been found guilty of neglect of duty and disreputable conduct following the investigation.
Miss Flanagan’s parents Val and George, of Greencroft in Bilston, said: “We have been badly let down.”
The couple’s 30-year-old daughter had rowed with her former fiance Pc Ian Bracey minutes before she was struck by the Birmingham-bound tram at The Crescent stop in Bilston in December 2003.
The inquest at Worcestershire Coroners Court heard of a catalogue of errors, including a failure to preserve the scene and confusion over whether the death should be treated as murder or suicide.
No detectives were available to investigate the tragedy as they had all been given the day off for their Christmas party, prompting coroner Geraint Williams to label the inquiry “a shambles”.
The inquest jury yesterday was unable to shed any light on the mystery.
BTP today said it “acknowledged and accepted the significant errors in the initial response and investigation” and that procedures had been improved.
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