Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC - formerly IPCC)
Officers involved with murder victim Linah Keza in the days before her death committed gross misconduct
Police officers who dealt with a domestic dispute between a woman and her ex-partner days before he murdered her committed gross misconduct a panel has ruled.
Linah Keza, 29, of Leyton, east London, made a number of phone calls to police in the week prior to her murder on 31 July 2013.
David Gikawa, her former partner, was found guilty of her murder in May 2014 and was jailed for a minimum of 21 years.
Following the murder a referral was made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). Our investigation examined a series of instances where Ms Keza contacted the Metropolitan Police in the days leading up to her death, as well as one instance where Mr Gikawa contacted police.
Metropolitan Police officers Adrian Brown and Christopher Moore both attended the home of Ms Keza in the early hours of 29 July 2013 after she contacted police to make a number of allegations about Mr Gikawa.
Our investigation concluded that the officers had a case to answer for gross misconduct both in the manner in which they conducted themselves while at Ms Keza’s address, but also by not taking steps to arrest Mr Gikawa afterwards.
Ms Keza had alleged that Mr Gikawa had made threats to kill any man she associated with, had tampered with the tyres of her male friend’s car, parked outside the house, and continued to visit the area despite her telling him their relationship was over.
Our investigation found there was a large amount of conflicting evidence, including testimony of a friend of Ms Keza’s who said they were present, about this visit by PC Moore and Brown, and a panel would need to weigh the evidence before making a judgement.
The Metropolitan Police disagreed, but following a directed hearing that opened on 20 February the panel found the officers had breached standards of professional behaviour in relation to how they conducted themselves during the visit, and also for failing to take steps to arrest Mr Gikawa. Both officers were issued a final written warning.
Our investigation also collected conflicting evidence about how the officers followed up this visit. The pair both stated they had been told by a senior officer they did not need to carry out further actions as a different unit would handle any follow up.
This evidence was denied by the senior officer. Our investigation concluded PC Brown and PC Moore had a case to answer in relation to allegations that they may have been dishonest about the advice they received from the senior officer. The panel ruled the officers did not lie about the advice they received from their senior officer.
On 30 July 2013 Mr Gikawa made a call to the Metropolitan Police to request an officer attend Ms Keza’s house with him while he collect his belongings. This was on the advice he had received days earlier by different officers.
Our investigation found evidence to suggest PS Sidney Rogers failed to give consideration to existing intelligence relating to Mr Gikawa when handling this incident and that Mr Gikawa was advised he should attend the property with his brother.
We also found evidence that suggested PS Rogers may have lied in interview about the information he passed on to a fellow officer to be entered into police records about his conversation with Mr Gikawa.
The panel ruled PS Rogers failed to carry out his duties and responsibilities and lied to the IOPC during our investigation and issued him a final written warning.
IOPC regional director Sarah Green yesterday said:
“The death of Linah was truly tragic and I offer my condolences to everyone affected. In the days before her death, Linah made a number of calls to the Metropolitan Police raising concerns about the man who would ultimately kill her.
“A panel has ruled that three officers prior to this terrible crime being committed, breached standards of professional behaviour in how they carried out their work.
“The panel has also ruled one of them then sought to distort the truth of their actions by misleading our investigation.
“Our investigation, which was completed in September 2016, also concluded two further officers committed misconduct in the way they handled their interactions with Ms Keza. One officer had already left the force while the other received management action.”
The IOPC directed the three officers face a gross misconduct hearing in July 2017.
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