Bijan Ebrahimi murder: Police deny misconduct in case

Bijan Ebrahimi
Image caption Bijan Ebrahimi was killed and his body set on fire in Bristol in July 2013

Two police constables and a community support officer have denied charges of misconduct in the case of a disabled man murdered by a vigilante in Bristol.

Bijan Ebrahimi, 44, who was wrongly branded a paedophile, was beaten to death and his body set on fire in July 2013.

He had made several calls to Avon and Somerset Police.

PCs Helen Harris and Leanne Winter, and PCSO Andrew Passmore appeared at Bristol Crown Court.

Mr Ebrahimi's neighbour, Lee James, of Capgrave Crescent, Brislington, was jailed for life after he admitted his murder.

James, then aged 24, was jailed for a minimum of 18 years in November 2013. Stephen Norley, 25 and also of Capgrave Crescent, admitted assisting an offender and was jailed for four years.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) submitted a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) last October about how officers responded to events and contact from Mr Ebrahimi.

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Image caption Stephen Norley, 24, (l) admitted helping Lee James set Mr Ebrahimi on fire

Ms Harris, 40, and Ms Winter, 37, denied charges of misconduct in a public office between 10 and 15 July 2013.

Mr Passmore, 55, entered a not guilty plea to the same charge, and one of intending to pervert the course of justice between 11 July and 12 November 2013.

Mr Passmore is alleged to have given different accounts of his dealings with Mr Ebrahimi to police personnel, the Bristol police murder inquiry and the IPCC.

Another police constable, Kevin Duffy, 51, also attended the hearing at Bristol Crown Court but did not enter a plea to a single charge of misconduct in a public office between 10 and 15 July 2013.

A post-mortem examination found Mr Ebrahimi, an Iranian national, suffered "multiple heavy blows to the face and head" and died before he was set alight.

Image caption Clockwise from top left: PCs Kevin Duffy, Helen Harris and Leanne Winter, and PCSO Andrew Passmore

The court heard he was murdered three days after he was arrested by police, following complaints that he had been taking pictures of children outside his home.

During the fatal attack, father-of-four James, who claimed he believed his victim had been filming his children, repeatedly stamped on Mr Ebrahimi's head.

Father-of-two Norley, who worked for a fruit and vegetable wholesaler, helped James drag Mr Ebrahimi's body from the scene of the attack and obtained white spirit to burn it.

Judge Mark Horton adjourned the case for a trial, which is expected to last between four and six weeks, and set a date of 9 November.

He granted the defendants unconditional bail.

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