The investigation of Colin Stagg murder of Rachel Nickell

In July 1992, Rachel Nickell was attacked and murdered, her pharynx was cut, and she was stabbed 49 times so sexually assaulted. The sensitiveness and inhuman treatment of this instance from the beginning, constabulary faced force per unit area from the populace and media to work out it. The probe was carried out by Scotland Yard officers of the Metropolitan Police. After roll uping grounds from a offense scene, there was no Deoxyribonucleic acid found, which means that there was no forensic grounds to associate any suspect with the offense scene ( Evans 1992 ) .

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The Metropolitan Police reached for aid and advice from Paul Britton, a condemnable psychologist, as profiling is largely used in those instances where constabulary hold merely a few hints ( Britton 1997 ) . It uses combination of psychological procedures and theories with probe to make wrongdoer profiling, geographical analysis of the offense location and wrongdoer, advises on interaction with media and supplying interview schemes ( Stelfox 2009 ) .

The work of Paul Britton can be criticised on the basic evidences, as it looked like he was taking the probe or had excessively much powers form research workers alternatively of merely offering the aid to research workers to profile unknown suspect. Paul Britton was accused of transgressing the British Psychological Society ‘s codification of behavior when he helped the Metropolitan Police investigators to plan and carry on the operation ‘Ezdell ‘ , a ‘honey trap ‘ ( Morris 2002 ) .

Paul Britton gave a item description of a suspect and directed the probe to Colin Stagg. However, the chief purpose of profiling is non to supply information for the constabulary about who precisely committed a specific offense as reference earlier, but to do anticipations and suggestions about the most likely features, societal and psychological appraisal of the wrongdoer ( Ainsworth 2001, Holmes and Holmes 1996 ) .

Paul Britton ‘s work and engagement in this instance can be criticised harmonizing to Gudjonsson ‘s statement, that condemnable psychologists tend to work on chances, suggestions and anticipations, whereas constabulary operate in footings of comforter or artlessness, it is like a black and white scenario. It besides means that the individual labelled a suspect, Britton provided profile of Colin Stagg labelled as a possible suspect, will be presumed guilty until proved inexperienced person ( Gudjonsson 1992 ) .

‘Honey-trap ‘ :

The Metropolitan Police carried out the covert operation merely to see if Stagg will extinguish or imply himself. An clandestine constabulary adult female from the Metropolitan Police ‘s Particular Operation Group played function of covert human intelligence beginning ( CHIS ) . She had to set up and keep a relationship with Stagg to roll up information about his sexual and violent phantasies ( Stelfox 2009 ) . Due to his ‘psychological profile ‘ of a liquidator he was supposed to squeal and delight his deepest secrets ( Roberts and Zuckerman 2004 ) .

In his letters he talked about violent phantasies and over the phone described that he enjoyed aching people. During the covert operation Stagg ne’er admitted to slaying Rachel Nickell. However, Britton was confident about Stagg ‘s guilt and received an advice from Crown Prosecution Service ‘s attorneies. Once once more Britton ‘s function went beyond doing anticipations and suggestions about most possible features of the suspect ( Ainsworth 2001, Holmes and Holmes 1996 ) . He leaded the probe. Police besides believed that those groundss would be sufficient in tribunal and warrant strong belief, after audience with Britton. Colin Stagg was arrested and charged with Rachel Nickell ‘s slaying in August 1993 ( Evans 1992 and Cohen 1999 ) .

The instance of Colin Stagg was seen as a text edition illustration of the unethical usage of profiling and the maltreatment of powers ( Turvey 2008 and Ormerod 1999 ) , because the probe was concentrated on happening the suspect and so building the probe alternatively of look intoing the offense scene and carry oning probe. In the other words, that ‘s an illustration of a instance building to bear down the suspect ( Maguire and Norris 1992 ) .

However, the full and sophisticated psychological trap was created by Britton. Stagg was manipulated, entrapped, enticed and promised an matter with a beautiful adult female merely if he would squeal. Simply talking, the purpose of the operation was to flim-flam Stagg into confession. Britton ‘s manner of building the covert operation, intimations during the interview and analyzing his reactions were unethical ( Cohen 1999, Evans 1992 and Morris 2002 ) .

Besides an clandestine operation was seen as misconceived and the Metropolitan Police tried to imply a suspect by delusory and unprofessional behavior to have a confession, entrapment and profiling grounds were excluded and the instance was withdrew by the prosecution ( Ainsworth 2001, Cohen 1999, Evans 1992 and Johnson 2006 ) .

Arrest and interviewing:

An debut of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 determined many illegal activities of British investigators and introduced rudimentss alterations in nearing and questioning suspect in the interview room. It is necessary to retrieve that inappropriate interviewing techniques may ensue that a truly guiltless individual will do a confession ( Ainsworth 2001 and Cherryman, Bull and Vrij 2002 ) .

In Colin Stagg ‘s instance, Paul Britton, gave specific advice to the constabulary about the best manner to carry on an interview with a suspect and how to near him. Those advices were concentrated on the manner how to carry a suspect to squeal. Stagg ‘s interview lasted for three yearss and during the question suspect ‘s behavior was contradictory and sometimes confounding. Harmonizing to Britton, his denials were implicative his basic intelligence degree, it did non travel through his head that the suspect may be guiltless ( Ainsworth 2001 ) .

Stagg was detained in detention for questioning for three yearss, nevertheless a suspect can non be detained in the detention for longer than 24h without being charged, or it can be extended to 36h with the authorization of constabulary overseer. If there is non adequate grounds to bear down the suspect, he/she demand to be released on bond. Harmonizing to those three scenarios, Stagg ‘s detainments in detention would be improper, but in instance of slaying charges, a suspect may be refused release and remain in the detention until the trail ( Home Office 2010 ) .

Trial, strong belief and eventual acquittal:

There was no forensic grounds associating Colin Stagg with a offense scene, informant said to the constabulary that saw him or a adult male really like him on the twenty-four hours of Rachel Nickell ‘s slaying – that seems to be plenty for the Metropolitan Police to label Stagg as a suspect. The Metropolitan Police officers were under high force per unit area from the media and public to acquire a strong belief and tend to misused powers of the scientific discipline of condemnable profiling. They examined and rejected 547 suspects but still have no thought who killed Rachel Nickell. Undercover female constabulary officer tried to acquire Stagg to squeal to Rachel Nickell ‘s slaying, by promoting Stagg to speak about his sexual and violent phantasies, assuring to hold sexual intercourse with him if his was the 1 who killed Rachel Nickell. Months of clandestine work produced nil, Stagg ne’er admitted to slaying and knifing to decease Rachel Nickell.

The constabulary decided to do an apprehension and charge Colin Stagg with a slaying based on the intelligence collected during the clandestine operation. Prosecution withdrew the instance and Stagg was acquitted in 1994 ( Ainsworth 2001, Cohen 1999 ) .

Cold instance reappraisal and new suspect:

In 2002, the Scotland Yard constabularies used their cold instance reappraisal squad to hold another expression at the Rachel Nickell killing. Military officers analysed witness statements, checked files for possible suspects and hunt for a connexion between other offenses. They besides compared Rachel Nickell ‘s hurts with other victims and contacted Forensic Science Service about new methods of DNA fiting techniques ( Tendler 2007 ) .

Latest techniques were used to take microscopic atoms of victim ‘s Deoxyribonucleic acid from the vesture and tested them in the research lab to bring forth a lucifer. The lucifer did non belong to victim ‘s spouse or boy. Sample was helpful to extinguish some of the suspects, but was deficient to supply designation ( Leppard 2007 ) .

In 2006, the Scotland Yard squad interview convicted sex slayers in Bradmoor Hospital. Robert Napper was interviewed was interviewed three times by the slaying squad. Year subsequently, Nappel was charged with Rachel Nickell ‘s slaying and he pleaded non guilty ( O’Neill 2007 ) .

In 2008 Robert Nappel was found guilty of manslaughter of Rachel Nickell on the evidences of lessened duty ( Leppard 2007 and Dodd 2007 ) .

Robert Nappel and series constabulary mistakes:

Robert Nappel was besides known as Plumstead Ripper, was suspected of up to 40 violent raped, but has ne’er admitted to them. Police started their ‘gross mistakes in judgement ‘ in 1989 where they failed to cover with Nappel ‘s female parent claim who reported that Nappel admitted to ravishing a adult female ( Casciani 2010 ) . Police officers could hold arrest him before he assaulted and murdered more adult female, but alternatively merely ignored the claim ( News London 2010 ) .

He was eliminated as a suspect from Rachel Nickell ‘s slaying because he was non frequently in that country of London. However, Metropolitan Police did non checked Nappel ‘s yesteryear and current activities or engagement. In fact he knew the country good because he was go toing for the psychiatric intervention in the nearby clinic. That was another error made by constabularies which could salvage adult females ‘s life.

There were few state of affairss where Metropolitan Police officers did non joined the points and saw Napper as a suspect. He was asked twice to give a blood sample for scrutinies in 1992, after phone calls from neighbors that Napper looks like a wanted raper. Every clip, Napper failed to turn up and after few hebdomads he was eliminated from the suspects because his tallness did non suit the description.

After few months he was arrested for stalking a adult female from the local constabulary station. The constabulary searched his level and found handguns, ammo, information about how to keep person, maps of London, and his private journal which included addressed of old victims. If the constabulary would associate Nappel ‘s properties found in the level with Rachel Nickell ‘s slaying, other local slayings, so Nappel hopefully would be arrested quicker. Nappel ‘s victims were restrained, their addressed were in his personal journal and he besides knew how to commune to their houses. However, Napper was merely given short tutelary sentence and during the test, mentions about his mental province were made. No farther actions were taken and he walked free from the constabulary once more.

Year subsequently, he attacked guiltless adult females once more, raped and stabbed her to decease. After 6 months his finger prints were found in victim ‘s level, but harmonizing to Britton and his perfect policing accomplishments, the scenario was different and he was free once more. In 1999 he was arrested for the above slaying on the evidences of lessened duty.

The Metropolitan Police failed to halt Nappel from perpetrating awful killing many times as shown above and he remained free for old ages. That was an illustration of catalogue bad determinations ‘ and major mistakes that allowed Nappel to slay guiltless adult females. The constabulary did non associate few points together to see overall image of paranoid schizophrenic ‘s actions ( BBC News 2008, Dodd 2007, Leppard 2007, Laville 2008, Laville, Siddique, Percival and Sturcke 2008 and Sinclair 2010 ) .

The Independent Police Complains Commission ( IPCC )

IPCC released a study in June 2010 about the actions of the Metropolitan Police Service in relation to managing the Rachel Nickell ‘s slaying. Their actions were described as ‘catalogue of Ba determinations ‘ which allowed Napper to kill his victims. Police failed to respond when Nappel ‘s female parent called to describe that her boy raped a miss, he merely continued to walk freely on the street s and pick new victims. They missed serious and clearly seeable chances to inquiry and apprehension existent slayer, committed awful errors that resulted in guiltless adult females being murdered and several adult females suffered violent sexual onslaughts ( Holden 2010 and Maynard 2010 ) .


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