Police accused of cover-up over death at Pete Doherty party

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The Independent Online

The mother of an actor who plunged to his death from a balcony following a row with the singer Pete Doherty and his friends has accused the police of a cover-up.

Sheila Blanco responded furiously yesterday to news that there will be no charges against the singer or his associates after the Crown Prosecution Service concluded there was insufficient evidence and said she was considering taking her case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Mark Blanco, 30, was found with fatal head injuries beneath the first-floor balcony of a flat in east London in 2006. Minutes earlier, the actor had been ejected from a party after imploring Doherty to come and watch him on stage. His inquest heard that he had been thrown out by Doherty's literary agent Paul Roundhill and his minder Johnny "Headlock" Jeannevol but had returned. All three denied wrongdoing.

The coroner, Dr Andrew Reid, recorded an open verdict, ruling out suicide, describing suggestions of an accident as "speculation". He called for a review of the Metropolitan Police investigation. Yesterday lawyers for the CPS told Mrs Blanco, of Guildford, Surrey, that the new investigation failed to establish whether a crime had been committed.

"It is a police cover-up," said Mrs Blanco, who believes her son was unlawfully killed. "I suspected this was going to happen but it was still a shock. I am considering a complaint about the first investigation."

But Jenny Hopkins, head of the CPS's complex casework, said: "None of the evidence is capable of establishing to the required standard that Mr Blanco was thrown or pushed from the balcony or that any other individual was present at the time he fell.

"As we can neither establish that a criminal act may have taken place nor identify the likely perpetrator, we must conclude there is insufficient evidence to support a charge of murder or manslaughter. If any further evidence does come to light, we will, of course, review our decision."