Wales

Nicholas Churton murder: Police 'made errors' before death

Jordan Davidson and Nicholas Churton
Image caption Police have been given more time to question Jordan Davidson (left) over the death of Nicholas Churton (right)

Police may have made errors dealing with a disabled man who was murdered just days after his killer broke into his house, a watchdog has found.

Nicholas Churton, 67, was killed at his home in 2017 by Jordan Davidson, from Wrexham, with a machete and hammer.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said an officer recorded a robbery by Davidson as a theft, which may have put Mr Churton in danger.

North Wales Police said it has reviewed risk assessment procedures as a result.

The IOPC report says the officer and a sergeant "have cases to answer for misconduct" about the way the complaint by Mr Churton was handled, advising him to speak to his friends and find out who the intruder was himself.

"Performance issues" were also noted for another sergeant and an acting inspector within the force.

North Wales Police were in contract Mr Churton several times in the 11 days before he was killed, including responding to his call that a man called Jordan had been in his home.

Image caption Mr Churton, who lived alone, was found dead in his living room by a friend

Mr Churton called police two days later to tell them the man's full name was Jordan Davidson. Four days later, he was found dead at his home.

The IOPC said Mr Churton called the force on 14 March last year to report he had been threatened with a hammer by a man called Jordan who tried to steal his television and had stolen his house keys.

Later that day, a police officer called Mr Churton back to take further details, the IOPC said.

But the officer recorded the incident as theft rather than a robbery, which involves the use of threat or force, and the IOPC said this may have influenced the way the case was handled.

Image copyright North Wales Police
Image caption Jordan Davidson was initially sentenced to a minimum term of 23 years, but this was increased to 30

Catrin Evans, IOPC director for Wales, said that while responsibility for the murder "lies squarely" with Davidson, its investigation had found several "areas for improvement".

A second investigation is continuing into North Wales Police's contact with Davidson following his release from prison, Ms Evans added.

Responding to the IOPC findings, Det Supt Dan Tipton confirmed formal disciplinary proceedings would be held for the officers involved.

"I recognise that this is a difficult time for Mr Churton's family and I know how important it is for the family to fully understand the circumstances leading up to his tragic death," he said.

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