Two police officers who were previously fired for their failings in the case of Bijan Ebrahimi have been jailed. Police Constable (PC) Kevin Duffy and Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Andrew Passmore were both dismissed by Avon and Somerset Constabulary in January after being found guilty of criminal misconduct in their duties.
Iranian born Ebrahimi, who was registered disabled, was beaten to death outside his flat in Brislington last year and his body set alight afterwards. The gratuitous, drunken attack was carried out by his neighbour, Lee James, who wrongly suspected him of being a paedophile. The murder took place on July 14 2013, three days after Ebrahimi was arrested following complaints that he had been taking pictures of children. Officers examined his camera, videos, and computer, but found nothing suspicious.
The truth was that he had been desperate to leave the home where he had lived for six years and had been recording instances of anti-social behaviour to try to force a move, which included filming James drinking alcohol while with his children.
Days before he was killed, Ebrahimi repeatedly called police to beg for help and report being assaulted by James. At the same time, James threatened that if police wouldn’t deal with Ebrahimi, he would.
According to the Bristol Post, PC Duffy regarded him as a “liar and a nuisance” and didn’t go and see him; instead he requested that Passmore conduct “a bit of a foot patrol” in the area. After staying in the area for just minutes, Passmore told murder detectives he had been there for an hour.
Hours later, the Iranian was beaten to death by James who repeatedly stamped on his head, shouting, “have some of that.”
The collective failure on the part of the authorities resulted in an inspector, sergeant, constable, control room supervisor, dispatcher, and four call handlers being interviewed for gross misconduct. Four Avon and Somerset officers were accused of letting their dislike of Iranian-born Ebrahimi influence their decision making. At this week’s hearing, Duffy was given a 10-month jail term while Passmore was jailed for four months.
Each will serve half their sentence.