Nickell's partner in legal action

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The Independent Online

The partner of the sex-killing victim Rachel Nickell has complained to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) over police failures which might have prevented her death.

Andre Hanscombe submitted the complaints yesterday and has been told that the IPCC has already begun considering its mode of investigation, said his solicitor Kate Maynard. Miss Nickell, 23, was killed in a frenzied knife attack in front of her and Mr Hanscombe's two-year-old son, Alex, on Wimbledon Common in 1992.

Last year Robert Napper, 42, finally admitted the crime and pleaded guilty to her manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He was ordered to be detained in Broadmoor indefinitely.

Police apologised to relatives of Miss Nickell and Samantha and Jazmine Bissett, also killed by him, for missed opportunities to catch Napper which could have saved their lives.

In November 1993, Napper killed Miss Bissett, 27 and her daughter Jazmine, four, after climbing into their basement flat near his home in Plumstead, south-east London. He was arrested in May 1994 and sent to Broadmoor for their manslaughter a year later.

Ms Maynard said Mr Hanscombe was seeking acknowledgment of, and explanation for, the serious failures of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), and to bring officers to account for those failings, including disciplinary proceedings where appropriate.

He said: "When Robert Napper was convicted of killing Rachel, although the intolerable waiting had come to an end the glaring question why the investigation had taken so long and had been handled so badly remained largely unanswered. To have found out as I did in December 2008 that Rachel's death may have been prevented initially left me numb. Now that I have had time to come to terms with it, I feel determined to bring all of the issues and events and mistakes out into the light."