Police authority chief in Soham inquiry accused of child abuse

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The Independent Online

A former police authority chairman who clashed with David Blunkett when he was Home Secretary over an inquiry into the Soham murders has been charged with child abuse.

Colin Inglis, the former Humberside Police Authority chairman, has been charged with 14 counts of indecent assault. The allegations date back to the 1980s when Mr Inglis was employed as a care worker at a children's home in Hull. They were made by one of its former residents.

Last year, Humberside Police asked the North Yorkshire force to investigate the claims.

Mr Inglis is due to appear before Hull magistrates today. He denies the allegations.

Mr Inglis came to prominence last summer when his police authority refused to comply with an order from Mr Blunkett to suspend David Westwood, the Humberside Chief Constable, after the publication of the Bichard report into the murders in Soham, Cambridgeshire, of the 10-year-old girls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. Mr Westwood was strongly criticised in the report, which found that Humberside Police failed to keep records on Ian Huntley, the school caretaker who was later convicted of the murders.

After the launch of the investigation last September, Mr Inglis was suspended from the police authority and the Labour Party. He was also replaced as leader of Hull City Council in May this year.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "Following an investigation ... a 48-year-old Hull man has been charged with 14 counts of indecent assault in relation to allegations of historic child abuse in the Humberside area."