Detective to carry on appeal

Former Det Sgt Janet Beasant who was told she must resign over the Charlene Downes case.

Former Det Sgt Janet Beasant who was told she must resign over the Charlene Downes case.

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A SENIOR detective involved in the Charlene Downes murder probe has spoken out for the first time against Lancashire Police’s decision to force her to quit.

Former Det Sgt Janet Beasant was told she must resign following the force’s disciplinary hearing which found her guilty of two counts of misconduct.

A third count of misconduct was found not proven but the hearing deemed her conduct “fell below” the standard expected during the investigation into 14-year-old’s Charlene’s disappearance.

Ms Beasant has appealed the decision and went before the Chief Constable Review on Friday.

The review was carried out by Sir Norman Bettison, the chief constable of West Yorkshire Police, who upheld the original decision.

A comment made on behalf of Ms Beasant stated: “While disappointed, Det Sgt Beasant was not entirely surprised by the decision made to uphold the earlier finding.

“She and her legal team are to challenge this decision at the next stage of appeal.”

While working as a detective on the missing St George’s High School pupil’s investigation, Ms Beasant was assigned the job of transcribing covertly recorded conversations between two suspects.

One man was charged with murdering the teenager and the other disposing of her body after she went missing in November 2003.

During the men’s trial, the court was told police believed the defendants could be heard boasting Charlene had been chopped up and put into a mincing machine.

But the jury failed to reach a verdict in 2007 and a re-trial collapsed when prosecutors withdrew the charges and the judge ordered not guilty verdicts be returned on both defendants

The Independent Police Complaints Commission criticised the police investigation into the teen’s disappearance after uncovering “a catalogue of errors”.

Ms Beasant was put before an independent panel during a two-week internal hearing in December last year.

Lancashire Police asked her to resign after saying the officer’s conduct had fallen “well short” of the professional standards they expect.

The next stage of the appeal process will be a Police Appeal Tribunal.

A spokesman for Lacnashire Police said: “The appeal hearing has taken place and we are waiting for a recommendation to the Chief Constable.”