Our thanks to Mike P for this. Extracts:
A coroner has slammed a detective for acting as ‘judge and jury’ in the case of a grandfather who killed himself after being accused of historic sex abuse.
Alan Bailey was ‘hounded’ to his death after he was accused of indecency and rape by a woman who alleged he had abused her when she was just 15, the inquest heard.
The father-of-two, who always maintained his innocence, faced a campaign of intimidation by the woman’s partner that left him ‘paranoid’ and suicidal.
But when he complained to South Yorkshire Police investigating officer Aneela Khali-Khan, she allegedly told him to ‘man up’ – failing to probe the harassment he faced.
Just days before he was due to stand trial, the 56-year-old drove to a Peak District beauty spot in the village of Miller’s Dale and plunged a kitchen knife into his heart.
Minutes before he stabbed himself, he texted his daughter to say he had had enough of ‘PC s***’. Another text read: ‘I’m crying. I’m not guilty. They have broken my heart. Can’t go on. Love u. Dad.’
His daughter, Theresa Bailey-Skews, said he also inadvertently phoned her and left a message on which she could hear his scream as he plunged the knife into his heart…
Ms Khali-Khan, who joined South Yorkshire Police in 2003, was a detective constable at the time with two years’ experience in the criminal investigation department.
Last year she was promoted to Acting Detective Inspector. She confirmed ringing Mr Bailey to mediate between him and his wife over who should be living at the home.
Dr Hunter (coroner) asked the officer: ‘You said his wife had ‘done no wrong’. What wrong, at that point, had Mr Bailey done? He had none. You assumed he was guilty?’…
Concluding he took his life while the balance of his mind was ‘temporarily disturbed’ the coroner added: ‘This in part was contributed to by the actions of a third party and by individual and collective failures of South Yorkshire Police from taking appropriate action to mitigate relevant and genuine concerns.’
Dr Hunter said Mr Bailey ‘lost all confidence in the force, his mental state deteriorated, and he had begun to self-harm’.
He called the investigation ‘not fit for purpose’ and said issues raised during the week-long inquest were ‘extremely serious’.
He added: ‘I feel Mr Bailey would have been better served by the Keystone Cops as opposed to South Yorkshire Police.
‘When a complaint is made the police have a duty to investigate it thoroughly. Mr Bailey called the police four times and each time his concerns were dismissed.’…
Dr Hunter also referred the force over their handling of the family’s complaint after Mr Bailey’s death. He questioned their internal investigation and said his daughters received ‘platitudes and a whitewash’.
After the hearing Ms Bailey said: ‘We always felt that the police woman had made up her mind that Dad was guilty. What ever happened to innocent until proved guilty?’