Tribunal clears Lawrence detective

DETECTIVE INSPECTOR Ben Bullock the only police officer to face severe disciplinary action for the gross mishandling of the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation was cleared of almost all charges yesterday.

The ruling by a police tribunal means no Scotland Yard officer will be punished for the debacle. Doreen Lawrence, the mother of the black teenager murdered by a racist gang, condemned the disciplinary hearing as a "whitewash". The Lawrence family are suing the Metropolitan Police for damages and may take civil action against the Commissioner or individual officers.

The Met tribunal yesterday cleared Det Insp Bullock of 26 of the 28 elements of the internal disciplinary action brought after the bungled inquiry into the 1993 murder at a bus-stop in Eltham, south east London. Det Insp Bullock, second-in-command of the investigation, was found to have failed to brief officers properly by not directing them to look under the floorboards for knives during a search of suspects' homes, despite being told that the suspects, Jamie and Neil Acourt, usually hid them there.

He was also found to have failed to investigate adequately the source of an anonymous letter which named several suspects in the case. The officer was acquitted of a third charge of neglect of duty at the end of the two- and-a-half week tribunal held in private.

Four of seven neglect-of-duty charges against the 50-year-old officer were thrown out a week ago by the panel of three, chaired by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Des Flanders. He will write a report recommending punishment which could range from dismissal to admonishment. But because only two elements of the charges were proved Det Insp Bullock is expected to receive a lesser punishment, probably a caution, reprimand or admonishment. He was described as being "relieved" at tribunal's findings.

Whatever the outcome, which will be decided upon at a hearing on 22 July, Det Insp Bullock will retire two days later. Four other senior officers severely criticised by the Sir William Macpherson inquiry into the Lawrence investigation, retired several years ago.

Stephen's mother, Doreen, said: "It's just a laugh. It's just a whitewash, the whole thing from the word go. We knew nothing was ever going to come out of it. It was police investigating police. The questions asked of the witnesses were never intensive enough to get to the truth properly."

She said until an independent body was set up to investigate complaints against the police, rather than using fellow officers, nothing would change, adding: "It also has to be remembered that this man will face no real punishment for his wrongdoing, whereas my family and I have to live with the effect of this forever. He will retire with a very good pension. He will never be punished."

Det Supt Bullock, said to be suffering high blood pressure and heart problems, delayed retirement to clear his name.Five officers have been admonished for their actions.

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Battle of the Five Armies trailer released
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Extras
indybest
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
Life and Style
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

PMO Manager (Portfolio Management, ExCel, Cost Benefit Analysis)

£450 - £500 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: PMO Manager - 6 month co...

Senior Fund Administrator - Edinburgh - £22 p/hr

£20 - £22 per hour + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Fund Administrator, Top Four ...

Nursery Nurse

£7 per hour: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to have a better wo...

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Functional Consultant

£50000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A Microsoft Dynamics CRM...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on