Police sorry after murder arrest

SUFFOLK police were insensitive when they arrested an Ipswich widower on suspicion of murder hours after his wife died suddenly, chief constable Alastair McWhirter has admitted.

SUFFOLK police were insensitive when they arrested an Ipswich widower on suspicion of murder hours after his wife died suddenly, chief constable Alastair McWhirter has admitted.

However the chief said he was satisfied that the officers involved had good reason to arrest Mr Newbury after his wife's body was found beside her bed.

Mr McWhirter replied to Mr Newbury after the former Labour councillor wrote to protest after he was held in the cells at Ipswich police station for nine hours after his wife Elaine was found dead on October 25 last year.

It was only after a post mortem examination confirmed that her death was from liver failure - natural causes - that Mr Newbury was released.

As he left the station a detective constable said to him: “We made the wrong call, no hard feelings.”

In his letter Mr McWhirter said: “I am very sorry that you were treated in such an insensitive manner.”

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The detective constable and an inspector have both apologised to Mr Newbury for they way he was spoken to at the police station.

Mr McWhirter said: “Although I am satisfied that officers had good reason to arrest you following your wife's death, I would like to apologise to you and your daughters for the insensitive handling of the situation.

“I should add that all members of the constabulary are currently undergoing customer service training as part of our 'Suffolk First for You' initiative.”

Mr Newbury still did not feel happy about the police response: “I don't think they had any thought of how their actions would be seen if I was innocent.

“I was locked up for nine hours and had little idea of what was going on at a very stressful time for me - and no one seemed to think about that.

“It was only afterwards that anyone thought it might be insensitive - that's not good enough.”

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