A coroner involved about how police handled a report of a lacking man who was later discovered useless says she is fearful extra folks might die.

Lee Bowman died after getting trapped between two fence panels, however his reason for dying could not be determined as a result of it took two months to search out him.

The coroner who led his inquest has written to the Faculty of Policing asking it to take motion.

The Faculty of Policing instructed the BBC it was contemplating the report.

Police’s ‘vital assumptions’

Within the report, generally known as a Regulation 28 Report back to Forestall Future Deaths, assistant coroner Abigail Combes stated: “Through the course of the inquest, the proof revealed issues giving rise to concern.

“For my part there’s a threat that future deaths might happen until motion is taken.”

Her considerations included police making “vital assumptions” about Mr Bowman’s whereabouts due to his alcohol habit, and inserting “inadequate weight” on what Mr Bowman’s household instructed them.

Mr Bowman was from Ollerton in Nottinghamshire and was 44 when he died in 2021. He had two daughters, who at the moment are aged 17 and 23.

He was final seen by his household on 29 October 2021, shortly earlier than he went to go to his girlfriend, who lived within the village of Thurcroft in South Yorkshire.

His brother reported him lacking on 2 November as a result of Mr Bowman normally contacted his household a number of instances a day they usually had not heard from him.

Nonetheless, Nottinghamshire Police handled it as a “deliberate absence” fairly than a lacking particular person inquiry.

Map showing where Lee Bowman died

Lee Bowman’s physique was present in a slender hole between two fence panels on the finish of the backyard of 62 Inexperienced Arbour [sic] Highway

Mr Bowman’s father then reported him lacking on 4 November, however the drive wrongly believed he was nonetheless alive on account of a number of false sightings, which the coroner stated had been “not essentially completely checked for accurateness”.

The sightings included one by an off-duty police constable, and the coroner stated there was “inadequate scrutiny utilized to the veracity of that sighting”.

The investigation was transferred to South Yorkshire Police on 28 November, however the drive closed it down on account of a false sighting by a PCSO.

The PCSO wrote in an e-mail: “The lacking particular person will be seen in Rotherham city centre each day. He’s hanging round with the native drug customers and drinkers.”

South Yorkshire Police additionally falsely told a newspaper that Mr Bowman was “alive and nicely”.

A spokesperson stated on the time: “Inquiries established that the particular person in query is alive and nicely, nevertheless didn’t want to have interaction additional with our officers. After the person was positioned, and it was established he was alive and nicely, our investigation was closed.”

The investigation was reopened by South Yorkshire Police on 7 December after Mr Bowman’s household contacted police once more to say that they had nonetheless not heard from him.

The case was regraded as excessive threat on 14 December when it grew to become obvious the sightings had been unconfirmed, and detectives had been then requested to steer the investigation.

Mr Bowman’s physique was discovered on 3 December 2022, near the place he had visited his girlfriend in Thurcroft two months earlier than.

It was in a really slender hole between two fence panels, which had been on the finish of gardens backing on to one another in Cedric Crescent and Inexperienced Arbour Highway.

The pathologist who examined his stays couldn’t decide his medical reason for dying due to the decomposition.

Among the many considerations listed in her report, the coroner stated: “The assumptions had been based mostly on the info of Lee’s habit which on one view must have been recognized as a vulnerability, on one other view had been wholly irrelevant within the context of his household confirming he was in each day contact till 31 October 2021.

“Inadequate weight was positioned on the data supplied by Lee’s household about his present way of thinking and extraordinary behaviours.”

Corrina Bowman, Mr Bowman’s eldest daughter, stated the coroner’s considerations echoed what she had been saying ever since her father went lacking.

‘Gaslit’ by police

She all the time felt police had not listened to her and her household, regardless of Mr Bowman’s household having severe considerations.

“The coroner confirmed such professionalism and care when it got here to the case of my dad,” she stated.

“My considerations about dad’s whereabouts and the actual fact he had handed away had been sadly appropriate, and to listen to another person verify what I had believed and recognized made me really feel consolation, as for 9 weeks I used to be gaslit into pondering he was alive and nicely, when sadly he wasn’t.”

Lee Bowman

Mr Bowman was 44 when he died

The Faculty of Policing, which is knowledgeable physique for everybody working throughout policing, now has a statutory obligation to reply to the coroner’s report by 4 January.

Its response should comprise particulars of motion taken or proposed to be taken, setting out a timetable for motion.

In any other case, it should clarify why no motion is proposed.

David Tucker, head of crime on the Faculty of Policing, stated he was contemplating the report and discussing the problems raised with Deputy Chief Constable Catherine Hankinson, who’s the Nationwide Police Chiefs’ Council’s lead for lacking individuals.

“It could not be applicable for us to remark additional till we’ve submitted our response and the coroner has printed it,” he stated.

South Yorkshire Police didn’t need to remark when contacted by the BBC.

‘Studying recognized’

Rob Griffin, Nottinghamshire Police Assistant Chief Constable, stated: “This was an especially tragic case and my ideas stay with Lee’s household at this extremely troublesome time.

“The coroner’s report touches upon the response by each our drive and South Yorkshire Police to Lee’s disappearance.

“There are areas of studying recognized inside that report which have been addressed and already applied throughout our groups which work extremely arduous to find those that are reported lacking.”

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