Charlene detective to appeal

Former Det Sgt Jan Beasant
Former Det Sgt Jan Beasant
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A SENIOR detective involved in the Charlene Downes murder probe is appealing against Lancashire Police’s decision to force her to resign.

Former Det Sgt Janet Beasant was told she must quit following a disciplinary hearing which deemed her conduct “fell below” the standard expected during the investigation into the school girl’s disappearance.

The detective was assigned the job of transcribing covertly recorded conversations between two suspects after 14-year-old Charlene went missing in November 2003.

One man was later charged with murdering the teenager and the other disposing of her body.

Part of the evidence used in their trial was that 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 St George’s High School pupil’s disappearance, and uncovered “a catalogue of errors”.

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

She was found guilty of two counts of misconduct but a third count was found not proven.

Lancashire Police said the officer’s conduct had fallen “well short” of the professional standards they expect and she was asked to resign.

But Ms Beasant is now appealing the decision, with the appeal process due to start on May 11.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “We can confirm an officer is appealing the decision of a disciplinary hearing. The appeal will be heard this month.”

Ms Beasant was unavailable to comment.