Mother slams Facebook murder police
The mother of a 17-year-old who was murdered by a convicted rapist after he befriended her on Facebook said it was "heartbreaking" to read the police watchdog's critical report into the force which was supposed to monitor him.
Peter Chapman was allowed to slip away from Merseyside Police with "terrible consequences", the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has found.
It blamed "inadequate resources" for the "poor management" of the predator who murdered Ashleigh Hall in October 2009 after he pretended online to be a hunky teenager.
Her mother Andrea Hall, 41, from Darlington, County Durham, said after reading the report: "It's absolutely shocking. It was heartbreaking when they handed it me.
"If they had done their job properly and managed him properly, and he had not gone missing for a year, he would never have got anywhere near my daughter. I knew the report was going to be bad but this was worse than we thought."
After becoming her Facebook friend and chatting on other social networking sites, Chapman, posing as 19-year-old Peter Cartwright, arranged to meet his unsuspecting victim. He then went on to kidnap, rape and strangle the childcare student who was later found dumped in a farmer's field.
The IPCC said that staffing levels in the Knowsley sex offender unit, which was in charge of monitoring Chapman, meant effective management of offenders was "impossible".
IPCC Commissioner Naseem Malik said: "It is evident from our investigation that this particular sex offender unit was inadequately resourced and as result the officer tasked with managing sex offenders in the community had an impossible task.
"Chapman was not monitored effectively and managed to slip away, with terrible consequences."
She added: "For it to take a year for him to be apprehended was unacceptable. The slow response understandably prompts concern among the public."