THE Wiltshire detective who found the body of Becky Godden-Edwards is to be allowed to remain in the police after a gross misconduct hearing.
Det Supt Steve Fulcher broke Police and Criminal Evidence rules when he was investigating the Sian O’Callaghan murder in 2011 and this week two allegations against him were found proved.
Taxi driver Christopher Halliwell, who was later convicted of Sian’s murder, took detectives to the site where he had buried the 22-year-old nightclubber. Then, as they talked over a cigarette, he told them he could show them the grave of another victim and took them to a field near Eastleach.
Det Supt Fulcher was accused of gross misconduct when his failure to caution Halliwell formally meant he could not be tried for the murder of Becky, 20, who disappeared nearly 10 years before.
A formal conduct hearing this week found two allegations of misconduct by the detective proven. The second involved inappropriate contact with the media. A third was withdrawn.
Chief Constable Pat Geenty said today: “Clearly, this case has been very emotive and has attracted a high level of public interest due to the tragic circumstances surrounding it.
“Serious and major crime investigations are a complex aspect of policing and are often fast paced and highly charged.
"I have great admiration for senior investigating officers across the country who have to make life and death decisions.
"As always, it is vital that investigations are rigorously reviewed in order that good practice, lessons learnt and areas for development are identified.
“Furthermore, in line with the very prominent national concern regarding the integrity and transparency of the police service, I reiterate that I expect the highest level of professional conduct from all of my officers and staff.
“I fully respect the findings of the panel today and the process that has taken place, and I abide by the decision they have made.
“Det Supt Fulcher will continue to be given the appropriate welfare support within the organisation.
He added: “I would like to take this opportunity to pay my respects to the families of both Sian and Rebecca.
"Both families have been through the trauma of not only losing a loved one in horrific circumstances, but have had to endure several hearings, court cases and legal processes.
“This has been a very lengthy and detailed process, but I hope that all parties can now move forward.”