Simon MacMichael June 27 2018
Kent Police’s Chief Constable has issued a formal apology to the family of a cyclist for the handling of its investigation into his death in 2011.
The victim’s widow has said that while the apology is welcome, flaws in the investigation – which the charity Cycling UK says comprised “a litany of mistakes” – mean she will never know what happened to her husband.
Richard Jordan, aged 67, was found with a fractured skull and 10 broken ribs on a country lane near his home in Old Wives Lees, Canterbury. He subsequently died from his injuries.
While police insisted there was no third party involved, they did not examine the car of a motorist who had found Mr Jordan at the scene and dialled 999.
In a recording of the 999 call played at a coroner’s inquest, a man and woman could be heard arguing about whether or not their car had hit him. The coroner recorded a finding of accidental death.
Subsequently, the police’s handling of the investigation was strongly criticised in a professional standards report and by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), although the officers involved were cleared of misconduct.
In his letter to Mr Jordan’s widow, Sue, Chief Constable Alan Pughsley referred to meetings that senior officers had held with her regarding the case, and said the force had learnt from its mistakes.
He wrote: “I am aware that through these meetings or correspondence, apologies have been offered to you and your family directly from each of these persons and my purpose for writing to you is to also state my regret that the actions of my officers were not what you would have expected.
“I am confident that we have applied the learning achieved in order to seek to avoid any such similar circumstances potentially occurring again.”
Mrs Jordan told Kent Online (link is external): “The apology has helped but it is not enough because we will no longer know what happened that day because police failed us.
“We are grateful for the formal apology, but for my family and I it is not closure.
“Following the whole ordeal, especially with the grief, it has made me feel so cynical now.”