Bristol

Bijan Ebrahimi murder: Two police officers sacked

Helen Harris (left) and Leanne Winter Image copyright PA
Image caption Helen Harris (left) and Leanne Winter

Two police officers have been sacked over how they dealt with a man who was murdered in a vigilante attack in Bristol three years ago.

Bijan Ebrahimi, 44, was killed outside his flat in 2013 after he was falsely accused of being a paedophile.

Avon and Somerset PCs Helen Harris and Leanne Winter were dismissed by a public misconduct hearing.

Both officers had been cleared of "misconduct in a public office" when the case came to trial in December.

Image caption Bijan Ebrahimi was killed outside his home in 2013 after being falsely accused as a paedophile

Iranian-born Mr Ebrahimi, who was registered disabled, was wrongly suspected of being a paedophile by his neighbour Lee James.

He had called police to report being assaulted by James, days before he was attacked and killed outside his flat in Capgrave Crescent, Brislington.

Despite repeatedly calling police for help in the days before, the trial heard, Mr Ebrahimi had been seen as a "nuisance".

'Dreadful murder'

Avon and Somerset Police said the hearing had been conducted by "independent legally qualified chair" Emma Nott, who ruled both officers' actions had "amounted to gross misconduct" and her ruling was that both women be "dismissed without notice".

The force said it "abided by the decision of the chair". The misconduct hearing was held in public after the Home Office set new guidelines last year.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh "sincerely apologised once again to Bijan's family".

He said the force had "learnt a great deal and much had changed" since the "dreadful murder".

"Understanding and embracing difference, spotting vulnerability and closer joint working with our partners to achieve shared solutions to complex problems are at the heart of this change. We cannot do it alone.

"Soon after Bijan was killed we moved to a new way of working which places greater emphasis on local problem solving by neighbourhood managers working closely in the community, with the community and partners," he said.

PC Kevin Duffy and Andrew Passmore were convicted of misconduct at Bristol Crown Court in December and both were given custodial sentences.

Lee James was convicted of murder in 2013 and is serving a life sentence.

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