Met officer to face misconduct hearing over attack CCTV

Xeneral Webster Image copyright PA
Image caption Xeneral Webster pleaded guilty to manslaughter during his trial for murder in 2018

A police officer who failed to circulate CCTV of a man who went on to kill a woman in an acid attack faces misconduct proceedings.

A police watchdog said it took the Metropolitan Police officer 20 months to pass on images of Xeneral Webster’s involvement in a separate acid attack.

Webster, of Westway, west London had by then pleaded guilty to killing Joanne Rand, 47.

Her family said she might be alive had the Met Police “investigated properly”.

Multiple organ failure

A force spokesman said the officer had been placed on restricted duties pending disciplinary proceedings.

The initial acid attack, in which a woman suffered significant leg injuries, took place at a cinema in Ealing, London in March 2017.

In June 2017 Webster then got into a fight in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

A bottle of sulphuric acid was knocked from his grasp and splashed over Ms Rand.

She was treated in hospital, but later died from multi-organ failure after contracting septicaemia.

Webster was jailed for 17 years for manslaughter.

Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Carer Joanne Rand worked with dementia patients

An investigation by The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) watchdog found the unnamed detective constable had obtained CCTV images after the Ealing attack.

‘Entirely avoidable’

He said he would circulate them, but that did not happen until November 2018.

Ms Rand’s family said: “Had this acid attack in March 2017 been investigated properly at the time, Webster, the alleged perpetrator, would have been dealt with and may not have been free to carry out the horrific attack in June 2017 on Jo and she may still be with us.

“We feel let down by the Metropolitan Police.”

IOPC regional director, Sal Naseem, said the failure to circulate the CCTV images “was not intentional or deliberate, however it was entirely avoidable”.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said it had been agreed the officer “had a case to answer for misconduct for breaching the standards of professional behaviour”.

The IOPC only names officers facing gross misconduct proceedings.