Police face inquiry over man shot dead after gang clash

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The Independent Online

The police response to the stabbing of a man who was later shot dead is to be investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The IPCC said it would look into how the Metropolitan Police handled the knife attack on Peter Woodhams in January.

Mr Woodhams, 22, from Canning Town, east London, was shot dead on Monday outside his house. He had confronted members of a gang several times because of their antisocial behaviour, according to his fiancée, Jane Bowden. Miss Bowden, 23, said the family phoned the police every day for five weeks after the stabbing but they failed to take a statement.

She said the gang had thrown stones at their house and car and shouted abuse since the knife attack.

The IPCC commissioner, David Petch, said: "There has been considerable public concern about this case and I therefore decided our investigators should look at the police's response to the stabbing incident."On Monday Mr Woodhams was shot in the chest, possibly by members of the same group, according to his family. Earlier in the day, he had argued with a group of youths outside a parade of shops. He drove back home, and complained to his fiancée of "trouble outside". He then went back out to the parade, apparently to speak to the group. Moments later he was shot.

Mr Woodhams, a television satellite engineer, managed to stagger back to his house but collapsed at the front gate. His fiancée, with their son, Sam, three, rushed to his aid but he died on his way to hospital.

Yesterday, Sir Ian Blair, the Met Commissioner, was asked to "report fully" to the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) on how his officers responded to the stabbing and Mr Woodhams' subsequent murder. The Metropolitan Police has also launched an internal inquiry into its investigation of the stabbing. The Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) will examine whether mistakes were made.

A 14-year-old arrested over Mr Woodhams' murder, who had also been held in connection with the earlier stabbing, has been released on bail.