Beds, Herts & Bucks

Nicola Cross killing: Police cleared of wrongdoing

Nicola Cross Image copyright sbna
Image caption Mother-of-two Nicola Cross was killed at her Hemel Hempstead home on 14 September 2015

Police have been cleared of wrongdoing in connection with the killing of a mother-of-two at her home.

On the night of Nicola Cross' death, police detained then released Marcin Porczynski after reports a man had tried to enter her house.

Paranoid schizophrenic Porczynski later returned to the Hemel Hempstead home of Mrs Cross, 37, and stabbed her in 2015.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission found officers "followed applicable policies and guidelines".

Mrs Cross was stabbed on 14 September 2015 after Porczynski believed he had to kill her or his family in Poland would be killed.

Porczynski admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility in December 2016 and was sentenced to an indefinite spell at a psychiatric unit.

Image copyright SBNA
Image caption Marcin Porczynski arrived in the UK to work in early 2015

The IPCC investigation found Hertfordshire police officers were called to the area on the night of the killing following a 999 call from Mrs Cross and other residents reporting a man that was acting erratically and had tried to force entry to her home.

Porczynski was detained and then released by officers as there were no grounds to detain him further, the IPCC said.

He later returned to Mrs Cross' property and killed her.

The police watchdog concluded "the actions of no officer or staff member with Hertfordshire Constabulary could be considered misconduct".

Image copyright SBNA
Image caption Nicola Cross' husband Danny heard his wife's screams over the phone as Porczynski broke into their home and attacked her

The IPCC upheld a separate complaint, brought by Mrs Cross' husband Danny, that officers did not inform his wife that Porczynski had been released after he was first detained.

But the investigator added "this could not be judged by a tribunal to be misconduct".

IPCC operations manager Neil Orbell said: "My deepest sympathy goes out to Nicola's husband and children, and to all those involved in this awful event."

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