‘Significant step forward’ as review under way into murder of Kevin Nunes
A formal review into the murder of Kevin Nunes is under way and has been described as a significant step forward in the pursuit of justice.
The 22 year old’s bullet-ridden body was found on the Shropshire border in the village of Pattingham 16 years ago – yet the case remains unsolved. Police said he had been taken out by rival drug mobs.
Merseyside Police will conduct the review to analyse whether there is potential for the case to be re-investigated.
Staffordshire Police were criticised in an Independent Police Complaints Commission report for its handling of the case.
The force said in February it was finalising arrangements with another force to review the case.
Staffordshire Chief Constable Gareth Morgan said: “I am grateful to Merseyside Police for reviewing this case and I recognise this is a significant step forward for the family of Kevin Nunes, who have never received justice for his death.
“Merseyside Police now need time to review all materials relating to this case in order to inform next steps. As such we will not be making any further comment at this time.”
Mr Nunes’ former partner and family, including their teenage son, have welcomed the review.
Five men were jailed in 2008 but released on appeal four years later. The five men’s convictions were overturned at the Appeal Court in 2012, with Lord Justice Hooper calling the case seriously flawed. No-one has has been held responsible for Mr Nune's death and no police officers have been disciplined.
A damning internal police management review, which looked into wrongdoing by detectives and the handling of the case’s star witness, was never revealed to the judge, jury or barristers.
It exposed that detectives drank alcohol with the star witness, covered-up alleged crimes committed by the witness, and that they allegedly abused overtime to boost their pay. One of the witness handlers was also having an ‘intimate affair’ with the female officer in charge of overseeing evidence at the witness’s ‘safe house’. Overall the dossier revealed the unit was dysfunctional and detectives didn’t trust each other.
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