Leeds & West Yorkshire

Riley Siswick: Murder police 'failed to treat child's death as suspicious'

Kyle Campbell and Kayleigh Siswick Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption Kyle Campbell and Kayleigh Siswick were convicted over the death of toddler Riley Siswick

Three policemen failed to treat a toddler's death as suspicious, despite 14 bruises and marks on the boy's body, a misconduct hearing has been told.

Det Ch Insp Mark Swift, Det Insp George Bardell and PC Oliver Scoones are alleged to have failed to conduct a thorough investigation into the death of Riley Siswick.

The three-year-old was found dead at his Huddersfield home in February 2016.

Kyle Campbell, then Riley's mother's partner, is serving life for murder.

Kayleigh Siswick was jailed for causing or allowing the death of her son, who suffered a "slow and painful death".

Ian Skelt told a panel at the West Yorkshire Police headquarters in Wakefield that officers from the force's Homicide and Major Enquiries Team should have been assigned to the case from an early stage, but were not.

Mr Skelt said a consultant paediatrician identified 14 separate bruises and marks on the dead boy's back but no photographs were taken.

He added: "Even at these early times, there were indications that the death may well have been suspicious."

In a post-mortem examination, with PC Scoones and Det Insp Bardell present, it was said the boy's bowel had been separated, and that this was the probable cause of death, the misconduct hearing was told.

However, in a log written the next day, Det Insp Bardell stated that the injury seemed to be "50/50 between being a medical defect and a trauma", with officers investigating the possibility of Riley suffering a "slip, trip or fall".

Mr Skelt said: "The officers appeared to have been focused, for whatever reason, on it being an innocent cause of death, rather than taking an investigative mindset and considering the possibility this may have been a traumatic assault."

The misconduct hearing continues.

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