Bijan Ebrahimi: Bristol murder victim 'failed' by police

image captionBijan Ebrahimi had been in contact with police in the days before his death

A murder victim who was beaten and set on fire following rumours he was a paedophile was "failed" by officers, Bristol's police chief has admitted.

Bijan Ebrahimi's body was found in July in Brislington after he was reportedly harassed by residents who believed he had taken indecent images of children.

Lee James, 24, of Capgrave Crescent, has admitted his murder.

Mr Ebrahimi's family say they want to see justice for those who "failed to protect" him, including the police

'Calls for help'

A family statement, said: "It should not be forgotten that Bijan had been the victim of hate crimes for a number of years before his death, both due to his race and his physical disability.

"It was for this reason that the police should have taken especially seriously his calls for help in the days before he was murdered."

Avon and Somerset's chief constable said the force and other agencies would need to look at "what went wrong here".

image captionStephen Norley, 24, (l) admitted helping Lee James set Mr Ebrahimi on fire

Nick Gargan said: "Why wasn't that poor man better served by us?

"It's important for the statutory agencies and voluntary just to sit down together and go through whatever process is necessary to understand how we failed that man."

Three officers have been suspended by the force while the IPCC probes the way it dealt with Mr Ebrahimi in the days leading up to his death.

He was arrested by police for breach of the peace but later released without charge.

'Poorly informed'

The force has since said it "can categorically state he had not taken any indecent images and that nothing of concern had been found on his computer".

Mr Gargan added that rumour and speculation about serious crimes in Bristol was "not that unusual".

He said there was a "very strong community feeling" before Mr Ebrahimi's murder but it was "very poorly informed".

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said four constables, a sergeant and an inspector had been served with notices of gross misconduct.

Bristol City Council, which housed Mr Ebrahimi, said it was "co-operating with the IPCC" and would launched its own case review which would be complete before Christmas.

Mr Ebrahimi's family said they were "anxiously awaiting" information from the IPCC and every day of waiting was making their lives harder.

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