WYP officers who investigated child death to face gross misconduct proceedings

Three officers from West Yorkshire Police are to face a gross misconduct hearing over their investigation into the murder of a three-year-old boy.

Sep 13, 2019
By Tony Thompson
Kyle Campbell and Kayleigh Siswick

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Swift, Detective Inspector George Bardell and Police Constable Oliver Scoones face allegations they failed to conduct a thorough investigation and prepared a report to the coroner that was incomplete or misleading.

Det Chief Insp Swift and Det Insp Bardell also face an allegation they failed to supervise an investigation appropriately and PC Scoones faces an allegation he attempted to influence a witness over the evidence they provided.

The allegations, if proven, could be seen as a “breach of their duties and responsibilities and of conduct that could discredit the police service or undermine public confidence in policing”.

Riley Siswick was found unresponsive at the home of his mother, Kayleigh Siswick, and her then-boyfriend Kyle Campbell, in Huddersfield in February 2016, but the investigation into his death was not initially progressed criminally.

Following a fresh investigation, Campbell and Siswick were charged in connection with Riley’s death. In June 2019, Campbell was found guilty of murder and given a life sentence with a minimum of 20 years. Siswick was found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

A referral was made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) in December 2016 by West Yorkshire Police in relation to the original police investigation.

The IOPC launched an inquiry that was completed in October 2017 and concluded the three officers had a case to answer for gross misconduct. West Yorkshire Police disagreed and in January 2018 the IOPC directed that a hearing should take place.

There are two additional allegations against the officers that could be considered misconduct if proven, namely Det Chief Insp Swift failed to follow correct policies and procedures and PC Scoones failed to properly cooperate with social services.

The hearing will begin on Monday, September 16 and is expected to last two weeks.

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