Met hits back at criticism after killer Nicola Edgington was left free to murder woman in street

 

Scotland Yard today hit back at criticism of the way it dealt with a killer who was left free to murder a grandmother in the street.

The force came under fire yesterday for failing to carry out a Police National Computer (PNC) check on Nicola Edgington, who called 999 five times to warn police that she might hurt someone before committing the murder.

Edgington, 32, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 37 years for murdering grandmother Sally Hodkin, 58, and trying to kill artist Kerry Clark, 22.

Police watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said the computer check would have revealed that Edgington had a violent history and had killed her mother six years before.

Commissioner Sarah Green said: "It is of great concern that no PNC check was carried out which would have immediately alerted them to Edgington's violent history."

But today Commander Neil Basu from the Metropolitan Police said the check would not have stopped Edgington.

Hours before the murder, she was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, south east London, by police after staff at a cab firm became alarmed at her behaviour in the middle of the night.

While waiting to be admitted, she rang 999 five times and warned that she was dangerous and would harm somebody if she was not sectioned.

After a delay, she was taken to the mental health unit, Oxleas House, but walked out soon afterwards.

Today Commander Neil Basu from the Metropolitan Police said the PNC check would not have stopped her.

"The death of Sally Hodkin is tragic and our thoughts go out to her family, and to Kerry Clark, who was injured by Nicola Edgington," he said.

"There has been criticism that officers did not conduct a Police National Computer (PNC) check on her details, which would have identified that Edgington had been violent in the past and had a previous conviction for manslaughter.

"With the benefit of hindsight this may have assisted officers with background information. However, as the IPCC investigation concluded, whilst Edgington was vulnerable, she was compliant and herself seeking medical assistance.

"The officers acted on the facts in front of them, which they do on a regular basis every day. A PNC check alone would not have prevented the actions that Edgington subsequently took."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
news
New Articles
tvChristmas special reviewed
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Sport
sport
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all