Search

Lee Balkwell death: Essex Police pays Hornchurch family £40,000 in damages and chief constable under investigation

PUBLISHED: 10:05 14 December 2016 | UPDATED: 10:39 14 December 2016

Les Balkwell stood below a picture of his son Lee.

Les Balkwell stood below a picture of his son Lee.

Archant

Essex Police has apologised to the family of a man found dead in a cement mixer and paid out £40,000 in damages, 14 years after his death.

The force has accepted liability for a series of flaws into the investigation of Lee Balkwell’s death, who was found dead at a farm in Dennises Lane, Upminster, in 2002.

The Recorder can also reveal Lee’s father, Les, has received letters notifying him that Stephen Kavanagh, the chief constable of Essex police, has been served with notice of a misconduct investigation into his handling of complaints over the death of the 33-year-old son.

Devon and Cornwall Police, acting as an independent investigator, served the notice which is looking into allegations Mr Kavanagh failed to act on claims of corruption within the force.

Les, of Hornchurch, has been fighting for justice since 2002, always maintaining his son was murdered by an organised criminal gang.

Speaking to the Recorder, Les said: “It was never about money, it’s about getting to the truth behind my son’s murder.

“It’s a really significant day and I would be elated if it wasn’t connected to the death of my son who I still miss every day.”

Les also confirmed a team of retired senior police officers, formally of the Metropolitan Police, are now going through all the evidence that has been disclosed in a bid to find the answers the 70-year-old still strives for.

Last month, the High Court ruled Essex Police must disclose original police documents to Les and his advisers.

Among the requests were personal notebooks of senior officers investigating the case, photographs taken at the scene and email exchanges between the police and pathologists.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “Essex Police has accepted liability in a civil case relating to the investigation carried out following the death in 2002 of Lee Balkwell.

“We also accept the findings of the 2012 IPCC report which criticised a number of aspects of the investigation but concluded: “we have found no evidence to support any allegations of corruption or a conspiracy theory.”

“The force has apologised to Mr Balkwell’s family for the failings in the investigation and the distress and anguish that this has caused.

“As the civil case is still ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

Latest Romford News Stories

17:00

Planning permission is set to be granted to build 620 homes on the former Romford Ice Rink.

Havering residents will be paying £60.33 more in Council Tax next year after councillors agreed a rise of 3.78pc at a council meeting last night (Wednesday, February 21).

15:00

A Romford insurance services group is challenging its staff, local businesses and individuals to compete in an annual charity run.

13:02

Havering Volunteer Centre has organised a 3k and 5k run, walk or jog event to celebrate International Women’s Day and 100 years of women’s suffrage.

A veterinary practice is warning rabbit owners to protect their beloved pets after 14 were killed by a deadly disease.

Yesterday, 16:58

A 19-year-old gang member has been jailed for firearms offences after he was stopped in a vehicle with a shotgun.

Yesterday, 15:20

A man from Hornchurch has been charged with a number of offences including driving dangerously, will appear in court next month.

Yesterday, 14:53

Groups of travellers have set up camp across the borough so that they can attend a funeral in London.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Lisa and Jennie are cousins who grew up in the borough. Their grandmother, ‘Nanny Fish’ was a huge part of their lives, and while she had dementia and increasing needs, she really benefited from having care in her nephew’s loving home. This experience was the inspiration for Lisa and Jennie to set-up their own home care service.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now