Police deleted report linking Huntley to sex attacks

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A police intelligence report that spotted a pattern of sex allegations against Soham killer Ian Huntley and warned he was a "serial sex attacker" was deleted from Humberside Police records in July 2000, an inquiry heard today.

The intelligence report was submitted by Pc Michael Harding in July 1999 and passed to the force's divisional intelligence bureau.

It was the only time an intelligence report was ever drafted on Huntley in all his contact with the police surrounding a string of sex allegations over previous years, said James Eadie, counsel to the Bichard Inquiry.

The officer, while investigating an allegation of rape against Huntley, spotted a pattern and noticed four separate rape inquiries surrounding him.

In the report, Pc Harding said Huntley seemed to choose women who would not make ideal witnesses or complainants and went on to say: "It is quite clear that Huntley is a serial sex attacker and is at liberty to continue his activities."

The report was submitted to the divisional intelligence bureau but, the inquiry heard, it must have been deleted during a "weeding" process of the records system by civilian staff in July 2000.

The Bichard Inquiry has been set up to discover how Huntley was able to gain work as a school caretaker despite a string of sex allegations.

He slipped through a police vetting net before murdering schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Soham in August 2002.