Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Investigations into tortured victim 'flawed'

Three police investigations involving a man who was tortured and killed were "flawed", the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has said.

Michael Gilbert, 26, was kept as a slave and tortured for his benefit money before being killed. His decapitated body was dumped in the Blue Lagoon in Arlesey, Bedfordshire, in 2009.

Last year, three members of the Watt family were jailed for life for murder, and three others for familial homicide.

The IPCC found police and other agencies failed to investigate three previous incidents involving Mr Gilbert.

investigations said a Serious Case Review had looked at the consequences of actions by police and other agencies who had contact with Mr Gilbert. The review comes after Mr Gilbert's mother contacted the body in July 2010, alleging police had failed to investigate three incidents involving her son. These were an assault in Luton in 2002 and abductions in Cambridgeshire in 2007 and in Lancashire in 2008.

The IPCC said police had investigated each of the incidents, but all three inquiries were inadvertently hindered. The 2002 assault investigation was hampered after it was given inaccurate information from other public services; the Cambridgeshire abduction inquiry was not told Mr Gilbert confirmed to a Bedfordshire officer that he had been taken against his will, having previously denied it. And in Lancashire, the wrong mobile phone number was written down for Mr Gilbert, the IPCC said.