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Brother of burned bus driver Kester David angry at Metropolitan Police failure to suspend officers for investigation 'errors'
The brother of a bus driver who burned to death in Palmers Green has condemned police for not suspending officers despite “a catalogue of errors” in their investigation.
The Metropolitan Police announced earlier this month that it would reopen its investigation into the death of Kester David, 53, of Russell Avenue, Wood Green after his family took legal action over mistakes made by detectives.
Mr David’s body was found with 100 per cent burns underneath a railway arch in Broomfield Lane on July 7, 2010, and detectives decided he took his own life by dousing himself in petrol and setting himself alight.
But after a leaked internal report found that officers had failed to interview vital witnesses who heard screams at the time of the death for more than a year – amongst other mistakes that amounted to “a failing in duty” – his brother, Roger David-Griffith, said that the decision not to discipline officers was “incredible”.
He told the Enfield Independent: “The officers are still walking around after this neglect and the Independent Police Complaints Commission hasn’t done anything or stepped in – how can that be?
“They said they had reopened the murder investigation but they still haven’t met with us, we haven’t heard anything since they announced this.”
He added his family were demanding that the full damning internal probe into the initial Met investigation be made public “in the interests of transparency”.
The January 2012 report, by Inspector Brian Casson, found investigating detectives Detective Inspector John Cardow and Detective Sergeant Christopher Kirk had not checked CCTV footage, failed to cross-reference DNA from the scene, did not examine mobile phone evidence and ignored potentially key witnesses.
The CCTV footage has now been lost, along with possible images of a van crucial to the investigation.
A coroner gave an open verdict into the death last year, saying that murder could not be ruled out.
Mr David’s family believe he was murdered because he was a police informant and that the investigation by officers would have been more thorough if he was white, although Inspector Casson found “no evidence of racial prejudice”.
Mr David had worked at the Arriva bus garage in Wood Green for ten years, and was wearing his uniform when he died.
Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe told MPs last week that he had personally ordered the reopening of the investigation because of the family’s complaints and reports in the press.
In a statement, the Met Police said: “Following concerns from Mr David's family, two reviews into the investigation were carried out by senior officers from Enfield borough in September 2011 and January 2012.
“The results of those reviews remain under consideration and detectives from the homicide and serious crime command are to reinvestigate.
“They retain an open mind about the circumstances of Mr David's death. Officers will be in close contact with the family throughout the investigation to discuss its progress with them.”