Police watchdog will not investigate Spain child deaths
Published: 24th May 2010 18:42:13
The police watchdog will not launch an inquiry into the case of the British family whose two children were found dead in a Spanish hotel room last week.
Lianne Smith, 43, has been charged with the murders of Rebecca, five, and her brother Daniel, 11 months.
Her husband Martin Smith, 45, appeared in a UK court last week charged with unrelated child sex offences.
Cumbria and Staffordshire forces had referred the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
Cumbria Constabulary and Staffordshire Police handed over details of their previous involvement with the family but the IPCC said the matter would be left for the two forces to deal with.
Naseem Malik, of the IPCC, said: "Cumbria Constabulary and Staffordshire Police acted sensibly in advising us of the previous matters involving the family.
"We have been passed information outlining the actions the forces took from the time of the original arrest of Martin Smith in Cumbria in September 2007, to a Staffordshire Police request for a welfare check on Lianne and her children after Mr Smith's arrest in Spain.
"On the basis of the information I have seen, I believe the two forces have acted appropriately in what is a difficult and highly sensitive situation."
Mrs Smith appeared in court on Friday and is currently in jail in Girona, north-east of Barcelona.
According to a court statement, she confessed to the murders of her children at a hotel in Lloret de Mar, Costa Brava.
Their bodies were found on 18 May and post-mortem examinations established they were asphyxiated.
The court heard she had left the UK for Spain because she was worried the authorities, who were looking for her, would take her children from her.
She moved to Barcelona where she was believed to have run a nursery.
Cumbria County Council confirmed Ms Smith had worked in its children's department, responsible for out-of-school activities but not working with children.
Rebecca was referred by police to its social care team following inquiries into Mr Smith.
Child protection procedures were put in place before the allegations were passed to social services in Staffordshire, where Mrs Smith and her daughter moved to in October 2007. They were reported missing two months later.
Mr Smith, the father of both children, was arrested in Barcelona on 7 May.
He was extradited from Spain over 13 charges of sexual offences against a girl aged between seven and 18, and for failing to answer police bail.
He appeared in court in Carlisle on 19 May and was remanded in custody until 7 June.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2010. Police watchdog will not investigate Spain child deaths. [Online] (Updated 24 May 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news.php/62092-Police-watchdog-will-not-investigate-Spain-child-deaths [Accessed 22nd May 2013]
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