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Lee Balkwell death: Dad hopes High Court hearing today could help reveal ‘what really happened’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 October 2016 | UPDATED: 07:25 20 October 2016

Les Balkwell has campaigned for 14 years for 'justice' for son Lee, pictured

Les Balkwell has campaigned for 14 years for 'justice' for son Lee, pictured

Archant

The father of a man found dead in a concrete mixer believes a high court hearing today marks an important day in his quest to “uncover the truth” behind Essex Police’s flawed investigation into his son’s death.

Les Balkwell, 69, has been fighting for justice since 2002, after Lee, 33, was found dead at a farm in Dennises Lane, Upminster, on July 18.

The 69-year-old believes Lee was murdered and has criticised the police investigation into the death ever since.

New dad Lee, was found crushed between the outside of a cement mixer drum and chassis, with his legs twisted on a pile of rubble.

In 2012, an Independent Police Complaints Commission report found eight senior officers made 25 errors in a “seriously flawed” investigation but it did not find any evidence of corruption.

Later today, a disclosure hearing at the High Court will rule whether documents that have never been released can be made public.

The two-hour hearing is to determine an application to Essex Police to disclose vital documents which are essential to the case of proving whether Essex Police failed to properly investigate his son’s killing.

Personal notebooks of senior officers investigating the case, photographs taken at the scene and email exchanges between the police and pathologists are just a few of the vast documents being requested to be released.

Les claims he hasn’t got much to lose before the hearing.

He said: “If the judicial system denies disclosure of these documents then it just proves I am right in thinking the police have something to hide.

“But if we do get the original documents then we can assimilate what really happened with the investigation.”

After 14 years of court battles, Les says he has “never more determined” to find out what really happened.

“I will continue to fight Essex Police for as long as there is breath in me, it’s my son we are talking about and I’d do anything for the truth,” he said.

“Every time I have challenged Essex Police, my allegations have been proved by the IPCC and the High Court, there is plenty of fight left in me.”

A three-day trial is still expected to take place next month to determine the amount of compensation issued to the Balkwell family.


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