Police corruption? The murder of Kevin Nunes

Fifteen years ago, promising young footballer Kevin Nunes was shot dead on a country lane in Staffordshire. Five men were convicted of his killing, and jailed for life.

However, just four years later, their convictions were quashed, following concerns about the way police handled a key prosecution witness.

The Court of Appeal Judge said it appeared to be “a serious perversion of the course of justice”.

Consequently, an investigation was launched into misconduct claims against four of the UK’s most senior officers.

Questions continue to revolve around the fact whether the family of Kevin Nunes will ever get the justice they seek or not. Many are asking what this case tell us about police transparency and accountability.

Staffordshire Police had an out of court settlement with Antonio Christie and Levi Walker. Both men were suing the force after the Court of Appeal overturned their convictions for the gangland killing.

One of the men has received a staggering £150,000 while the other has been paid £50,000.

Christie, of Great Bridge, and Walker, of Edgbaston, were part of a gang of five convicted of killing Nunes in Pattingham in 2002.

They were handed life prison sentences in 2008 but their convictions were quashed in 2012. This was because serious failings and wrongdoing by Staffordshire police officers came to light.

Walker is serving a minimum 30-year prison sentence for the separate murder of Trooper Narel Sharpe in Smethwick in 2004. He was convicted for that killing in 2006.

South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson said: “The public will be appalled that their money has ended up in the hands of a murderer because of the disgraceful way this case was handled”.

Biggest ever internal police inquiry

The scandal sparked one of the biggest ever internal police inquiries.

Christie and Walker launched civil legal action against the force last year, but the case has now been settled.

The £200,000 total will be met by the force and its insurers. A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “We can confirm that Staffordshire Police received two claims following the acquittal of five men in the Kevin Nunes murder investigation.

“Following consultation with our lawyers and insurers, payments of £50,000 and £150,000 were agreed.”

A total of 14 officers were subject to a four-year investigation, codenamed Operation Kalmia, by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

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Photo Credit: ExpressandStarNews

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