25th February 2016

Two Police Officers were jailed on 9 February 2016 for misconduct in a public office after a jury decided they made such serious errors over the death of Bijan Ebrahimi that the conduct amounted to a criminal offence.

Mr Ebrahimi was punched and kicked to death outside of his Bristol home and then his body set on fire by a neighbour who wrongly suspected he was a paedophile.  Mr Ebrahimi had complained Lee James had burst into his house and threatened him 3 days before the murder.  Police Officers attended but arrested Mr Ebrahimi rather than Lee James.  Mr Ebrahimi spent the night in the Police Station.  On release he made a number of calls to the Police claiming his life was at risk and pleaded for protection.

The jury heard that P.C. Kevin Duffy believed Mr Ebrahimi was a time waster and refused to speak to him.  P.C.S.O. Andrew Passmore who was told by P.C. Duffy to patrol the area where Mr Ebrahimi lived claimed he had patrolled for an hour on foot and by car.  The prosecution claimed he had only driven up and down for 2 or 3 minutes.

The Judge in the trial sentenced P.C. Kevin Duffy to 10 months imprisonment and P.C.S.O. Andrew Passmore to 4 months imprisonment.  Two other Constables who had arrested Mr Ebrahimi were acquitted of misconduct in public office.

It is reported that in total eighteen Police staff and Officers including Sergeants and Inspectors faced disciplinary proceedings over how Mr Ebrahimi was dealt with in the days, months and years before he was murdered.  Mr Ebrahimi’s family have accused Avon & Somerset Police of “institutional racism”.

Duffy and Passmore have been dismissed from the Police Service.  Lee James is serving life for murder.