SIEGE LATEST: We interview friend and neighbour of 30 years whilst complaints watchdog says no separate investigation needed into tragedy
AN independent watchdog has concluded that no inquiry is needed into how a Sutton St James killed himself at the end of a 12 hour siege.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission said today they have completed an assessment of the police response to an armed incident at a house in Sutton St James on Tuesday in which the body of Barry Horspool was found.
A spokesman said that “following the assessment, the IPCC has determined that it does not need to undertake an investigation and that the incident can continue to be investigated by police locally.
“The assessment has considered the command and control of the incident and the roles of initial officers at the scene, police negotiators, and specialist firearms officers. From the evidence available the IPCC believes police did what they reasonably could to negotiate a peaceful resolution. No shots were fired by police officers.”
The incident was referred to the IPCC by Lincolnshire Police and two IPCC investigators were deployed overnight to carry out an assessment.
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A NEIGHBOUR and friend of 30 years has spoken of his unsuccessful bid to be allowed by police to negotiate a resolution to the 12-hour siege which ended in Barry Horspool’s death.
Victor Leuty said: “I told police that he would probably talk to someone he knew rather than a stranger. But they didn’t want to know.”
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At 10.30pm on Tuesday police finally went into the council house in Chapelgate, Sutton St James, where they found Mr Horspool dead. It is thought he shot himself.
Mr Leuty said: “I offered to help three or four times. I was prepared to go inside the house if necessary. I would have tried anything.
“I was not worried for my own safety. With the sort of gun he had, you had to be up close to do any damage.
“He was a neighbour and a friend and I did not want anything bad to happen to him.
“I don’t know what was going through his mind. I don’t think police went to his house to check on his shotgun certificate because he did not have one.”
Mr Leuty told how he and Mr Horspool used to go shooting together, until 10 years ago.
He said: “He had a couple of shotguns, but when his licence came up for renewal he sold them. He had not been out shooting for eight or nine years.”
But Mr Leuty, a part-time butcher, confirmed that Mr Horspool had kept a 4 10 shotgun at his home without a licence.
“That is the smallest shotgun you can buy as a rat gun,” he said. “He’d had it for years.”
Mr Leuty learned about the siege when he arrived back at Sutton St James on Tuesday afternoon.
He said: “Police asked me to draw a map of the house and asked if they could get into Barry’s loft from my house.
“I have not been allowed to move my truck from outside my house, and I have only been allowed to go to my property to sort out the dogs.”
He also said: “I have lost a friend and a neighbour. It was a tragedy for everyone concerned.”
Mr Horspool was made redundant from his job on a local farm about 10 years ago. Mr Leuty added: “He lived at number 100 with his wife and he used his mobility scooter to get around, and he needed oxygen if he walked any distance.
“He was fine the other day when I saw him. I think he was in pain with his back and he had some problem with his lungs.”
Mr Leuty said he was concerned about some of the media coverage given to the siege.
He said: “They (the media) have been talking to people who did not know him and have portrayed him in the wrong light. That has wound me up, so I want to put the record straight.”
Mr Leuty’s daughter Zoe had been staying with her parents and was asleep on the settee when the siege began. She had to leave the property with children Tyler, eight, and Dylan, aged one.
Mr Leuty said: “Police told her to get away from the window and then to get clothes together and leave. As soon as she saw police and dogs outside, it hit her just what was going on.”
A police spokesman said he was unable to confirm any operational details because it was still subject to investigation.