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Police ‘failed to properly investigate death of murdered boy’ –

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Three police officers didn’t investigate properly after a boy, 3, was murdered, a hearing has been told.

Riley Siswick was found dead at home in Huddersfield on February 6 2016, after being jumped on and stamped on by his mother’s partner.


However, the officers sent to look into the case allegedly ‘focused, for whatever reason, on it being an innocent cause of death, rather than taking an investigative mindset and considering the possibility this may have been a traumatic assault.’

A misconduct hearing heard that Detective Chief Inspector Mark Swift, Detective Inspector George Bardell and Pc Oliver Scoones failed to take ‘an investigative mindset’.

They are alleged to have breached professional standards in the way they looked into the death.

Kyle Campbell was eventually convicted of murdering Riley, and the boy’s mother, Kayleigh Siswick, was found guilty of causing or allowing the death of her child.

A despicable thug has been convicted of murdering his girlfriend's son while she has been convicted of allowing it to happen. Kyle Campbell and Kayleigh Siswick were convicted today (Thursday) after the death of Riley Siswick in 2016. The three-year-old was found dead in his home on Smith's Avenue in Marsh, Huddersfield, two days after Campbell injured him in the abdomen. The blow had injured the toddler so severely that his bowel was completely severed and he developed fatal infections. A jury of seven men and five women took just over eight hours to deliver verdicts after a six-week trial at Leeds Crown Court. Campbell was found guilty of murder. CAPTION Riley Siswick.
Riley Siswick was found dead in his home on Smith’s Avenue in Marsh, Huddersfield (Picture: MEN media)

During a hearing today, it was explained how the officers who investigated Riley’s death had initially failed to seriously consider the possibility that it may have resulted from a ‘traumatic assault’.



Briefly outlining the case against the officers, Ian Skelt told a panel, sitting at the West Yorkshire Police headquarters in Wakefield, that officers from the force’s homicide and major enquiries team should have been assigned to the case from an early stage, but were not.

He said paramedics had attended Riley’s home on the day the boy was found dead, telling the hearing: ‘It was noted that the child’s mother was in the home – she appeared to be hysterical.’

Mr Skelt said that, after the child had been declared dead, a consultant paediatrician identified 14 separate bruises and marks on the boy’s back.

Detective Chief inspector Mark Swift reading a statement outside Leeds Crown Court with Dave Ellam's family and friends including girlfriend Claire Josling (centre), as Aaron??Joseph, 30, has been found guilty of being the owner of a dog which caused death of Mr Ellam, 52, while it was dangerously out of control by a jury after just over half-an-hour of deliberations.
Detective Chief inspector Mark Swift failed to take ‘an investigative mindset’ (Picture: PA)

However, it was felt at the time that none of the marks helped identify a cause of death, he said, and no photographs were taken of the bruises even though photographic evidence should have been taken, the misconduct panel was told.

The hearing heard how, based partly on information provided by DI Bardell, the probe was investigated by district officers, as opposed to West Yorkshire Police’s homicide and major enquiries team.

Mr Skelt said: ‘Even at these early times, there were indications that the death may well have been suspicious.’

Det Inspector George Bardell
Detective Inspector George Bardell (Picture: MEN Media)

He added that occurrence enquiry logs on the police system by Pc Scoones a day after the death did not indicate ‘any apparent concern on his part that the death may be anything other than natural’.



In a post-mortem examination held on February 8 2016 in the presence of Pc Scoones and DI Bardell, it was said the boy’s bowel had been separated, and that this was the probable cause of death, the misconduct hearing heard.

The hearing was told that, in a log written the next day, DI Bardell stated that the injury seemed to be ’50/50 between being a medical defect and a trauma’, with officers investigating the possibility of Riley suffering a ‘slip, trip or fall’.

Mr Skelt said: ‘The officers appeared to have been focused, for whatever reason, on it being an innocent cause of death, rather than taking an investigative mindset and considering the possibility this may have been a traumatic assault.’

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Campbell was eventually jailed for life with a minimum of 20 years at Leeds Crown Court earlier this year.

Kayleigh Siswick was given a seven-year sentence after it was heard her son had been left to suffer for two days after suffering his injury by Campbell.

The three officers face allegations that they failed to conduct a thorough investigation and prepared a report to a coroner that was ‘incomplete or misleading’.

DI Bardell and DCI Swift are accused of failing to supervise an investigation appropriate, with Pc Scoones alleged to have attempted to influence a witness over the evidence they provided.

The misconduct hearing, which is due to last two weeks, continues on Tuesday morning.



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