Charlene detective cleared
A MURDER squad detective forced to resign over alleged misconduct in the Charlene Downes investigation has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
Former Det Sgt Janet Beasant was told she had to resign following a disciplinary hearing which deemed her conduct “fell below” the standard expected during the probe into the Blackpool schoolgirl’s disappearance.
But a tribunal has now cleared her name and she could in theory now re-join Lancashire Police.
Ms Beasant’s Police Federation representative today said the officer had been made a “scapegoat” for the failed murder inquiry which was heavily criticised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Former Det Sgt Beasant was assigned the job of transcribing covertly recorded conversations between two suspects after 14-year-old Charlene, a pupil at St George’s High School, went missing in November 2003. She has never been found.
A 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.