David Brickwood: Police apologise to family of murdered Northampton man over investigation

Mr Brickwood's family say they plan to raise a complaint with the police watchdog and Priti Patel over the case

Friday, 18th June 2021, 3:34 pm
The family of David Brickwood is lodging a complaint against Northamptonshire Police over his murder investigation.
The family of David Brickwood is lodging a complaint against Northamptonshire Police over his murder investigation.

Northamptonshire Police will support the family of Northampton's David Brickwood to lodge a complaint against themselves over his murder investigation.

David Brickwood was stabbed to death at his home in Lindsay Avenue in a late night attack on September 26, 2015.

The case has gone unsolved for nearly six years.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

David Brickwood was murdered in 2015. He was described by his family as "a backbone of the Abington community" and a truly kind man.

Now, the force's chief constable Nick Adderley has confirmed he will "fully support" the family's intent to lodge formal complaint over the handling of the case with the police watchdog.

David Brickwood's son Dale spoke to the Chronicle & Echo following a formal meeting with the chief constable, as well as senior investigating officer Joe Banfield and Police & Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold.

"They told us we have been let down at all stages of the investigation," said Dale. "They said they were ashamed.

"There were things that weren't followed up on. There was evidence that was bagged and not put through forensics.

David's son Dale says he believes his dad has been "let down" by failures by Northamptonshire Police in the last five years.

"They said if they had done the job properly in the beginning they would have had them in custody and charged in 2016.

"But because we were let down on so many different things we were robbed of justice."

It comes after a jury was ordered to find a suspect not guilty at a trial in April by way of lack of evidence.

At the trial at Birmingham Crown Court, His Honour Judge Edward Pepperall ruled that the DNA evidence at the centre of the prosecution's case against Cameron St Rose, of Forest Gate, London, was not enough to prove the defendant had been at the house in person.

Chief Constable Nick Adderley says he will "fully support" the family's intent to lodge a complaint with the IOPC.

This week, Dale and his family were called to the meeting with Northamptonshire Police to say they would be supported if the family wanted to lodge a complaint against the force with the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Dale said: "I listened to them. They were straight with us as a family. What I understand is that it wasn't their doing.

"They tried to apologise and I said they don't have to apologise, I want the people who robbed us of justice to apologise. They encouraged us to make a complaint with the IOPC.

"When you take an oath to be a police officer you take an oath to serve the public and that's not a service we were given.

"The people who got this wrong should not be allowed to work again. They were career geezers who didn't care enough.

"I know we will get justice. Something will give."

Chief Constable took up his post in mid 2018, one year before Northamptonshire Police was branded as 'inadequate' by Her Majesty's Inspectorate. The watchdog acknowledged in 2021 that improvements have been made.

At the time of Mr Brickwood's murder, former chief constable Simon Edens had been at the post for three months. He resigned from the police service in August 2018.

Mr Brickwood's frustrations in the case reportedly include how the murder investigation had as many as four lead detectives attempt to solve the case in the last five years.

During the trial, the court heard tribute after tribute from the grandfather of 10's family, friends and neighbours who repeatedly said what a kind person he was.

One from David's son, Nathan, read: "My dad was the backbone of the family. Everybody loved him.

"He would give you the shirt off his back. He bought bags of shopping for neighbours who were struggling. He would stop and chat with whoever walked by. He made time for everybody. He was a pinnacle part of Abington."

The jury heard how Mr Brickwood's killers entered the home by removing a whole glass pane from a ground floor window before climbing in, forcing open the grandfather's bedroom and attacking him.

Mr Brickwood initially survived the attack and called 999 himself. Bodyworn footage from police officers who arrived at the house showed how the 74-year-old stood waiting by the same window, bleeding heavily from his injuries. He died shortly after at Northampton General Hospital.

The family say they have already contacted Priti Patel and Boris Johnson over the matter.

Chief Constable Nick Adderley said in a statement: “This week, I met with the family of David Brickwood in the company of Stephen Mold, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, and DCI Joe Banfield, the senior investigating officer in the case.

“The Brickwood family have expressed to us their desire to have the investigation into the 2015 murder, referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), a decision which we fully support.

“Steps have been taken to take that complaint forward to the IOPC and as such it would be inappropriate for Northamptonshire Police to comment further at this time.”