Inquiry will rule on perjury claims made against Cambridgeshire police officer following suicide of Fulbourn patient who went missing

Fulbourn Hospital: a 23 year old patient went missing, was later found dead in Sussex and a suicide

Fulbourn Hospital: a 23 year old patient went missing, was later found dead in Sussex and a suicide verdict recorded. The case re-opened with a police officer under investigation for perjury. - Credit: Archant

A Cambridgeshire police officer may have committed perjury during an internal inquiry into the death of a man who had been patient at Fulbourn hospital, a complaints panel has decided.

The perjury suspicion is being investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) that will consider all the actions taken by Cambridgeshire Constabulary after a sectioned patient was reported missing from the hospital on November 16, 2015.

William Stilwell, 23, was suffering from a severe form of obsessive compulsive disorder. His body was found later that evening by Sussex Police.

In September 2017 an inquest jury concluded his death was by suicide.

Following a complaint by Mr Stilwell’s parents regarding Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s actions on November 16, 2015 and the conduct of an officer during the inquest in September 2017, IOPC launched an independent investigation.

IOPC regional director Sarah Green said: “Our investigation is examining allegations that the police constable failed to take appropriate action when Mr Stilwell was reported missing and Cambridgeshire Constabulary control room staff failed to act promptly on receipt of emergency information. “We are also looking at allegations the police constable gave a dishonest account under oath at inquest.”

She said: “At this stage, the police constable has been advised he is under criminal investigation on suspicion of perjury in relation to his evidence at the inquest, as well as being investigated for potential breaches of the police standards of professional behaviour regarding his actions on November 16, 2015.

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‘We are examining the original missing person investigation carried out by Cambridgeshire Constabulary in November 2015 and information provided by a police constable during Mr Stilwell’s inquest two years later.”

She added: “These are serious allegations which are now subject to a thorough and independent investigation.

“We have met Mr Stilwell’s family and will provide them, the officer involved and those affected by these allegations with regular updates as the investigation progresses