United Kingdom

Girlfriend slams police after boyfriend wrongly called paedophile kills himself



The girlfriend of a man who took his own life after police wrongly branded him a paedophile has slammed the officers responsible for the blunder that led to his suicide.

Brian Temple was just 34-years-old when he died on December 31, 2017 – six months after being arrested on June 8 for allegedly stealing a pack of sausage rolls from Greggs, Teesside Live reported this week.

An inquest heard that upon arriving home from police custody, Mr Temple gave his release papers to his then girlfriend.

Unbeknown to him, police had made an error in which they had produced the wrong information – the letter stating he had been in custody for inciting sexual relations with a 13-year-old girl, which he had not.

The stigma may have played a key part in Brian hanging himself while under the influence of drugs and alcohol on New Year’s Eve 2017, the inquest in Middlesbrough heard.

But Brian’s partner of five years, 29-year-old Tasha Grange, has now told MailOnline of her anger at the police blunder and said the “girlfriend” who received the papers may have been another woman who Brian was involved with behind her back.

Brian Temple, 34, died on December 31, 2017
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The other woman had told others what she had read, Tasha claims, which led to people lashing out at Brian. In the time leading up to his death, he was verbally abused in the street, attacked in his own home and hit about the head with a golf club.

Tasha has also claimed that two months after his death she discovered she was carrying his baby. She said the “horrific” mistake made by police meant that if her son looked up his dad in the future, he would see his name associated with sexual offences.

The inquest heard that Brian, from Redcar, had been arrested over the alleged theft of sausage rolls from a Greggs bakery and had been given the incorrect papers upon his release from police custody.

Instead of the papers specifying his crime as being the theft of sausage rolls, it instead read ‘engaging 13-15 year old in sexual activity’.

At her home in Redcar, Tasha spoke of her shock at discovering her boyfriend had a secret girlfriend, who has not been identified, and who had been spreading false information about Brian.

She had not been aware of the release papers, she said, but claimed that if she had, she would have known it was an error.

She told the Mail: “Brian did get into trouble and I knew he’d stolen from Greggs but the idea he’d be involved in a child sex offence is so far off the mark, he’d never have been involved in anything like that.”

Tasha said she had known Brian for a long time – he had been friends with her brothers and over time she had fallen in love with him.

She described him as a “decent and very loving” man who was a good father to his four daughters from a previous relationship.

Brian had always wanted a little boy, Tasha said. While he died without knowing he had one, she said she now had a constant reminder of him.

Tasha said she didn’t want anyone to make the assumption that she had told people about the paedophilia that Brian had been wrongly accused of.

Tasha had been planning to spend New Year’s Eve with Brian, but had decided against it because he had been heavily drinking that day, she said. Instead, she spent it with family.

The last message she had received from him said he was going to sleep for a bit, Tasha said, and he added “just remember I love you”.

The next thing Tasha heard, Brian was dead. Tasha was devastated, she said, as was Brian’s family.

She told the paper: “After discovering what he had been through it now makes more sense to me and I will make sure our little boy knows the truth about his dad,” Tasha added.

On December 1, 2017, Brian made a complaint about the mistakes on the charge sheet, and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) launched an investigation into the incident.

Teesside Coroner Claire Bailey ruled Brian’s death could not be proven as a suicide, as the drugs in his system could have had an effect on his mindset.

Instead, she ruled that he was found “hanged under influence of alcohol and drugs”.

Cleveland Police had since made changes, she said, which meant a “preventing future deaths report” would not be required.

A spokesperson from Cleveland Police offered the force’s “deepest sympathies to Brian’s family”, calling it an “incredibly difficult time”.

Police had been fully engaged in the inquest process and had implemented changes to the information people were given upon their release from custody, they said.

An IOPC spokesperson also extended their “deepest sympathies”. The office began an independent investigation into the incident in January 2018, they said, following a mandatory referral into all the circumstances surrounding contact Cleveland Police had with him prior to his death.

As part of the investigation, the office looked at the incorrect information on the bail sheet, complaint handling and safeguarding of the male during the six-month period between being issued with the bail sheet and his death.

An individual human error which led to the wrong sheet being provided was identified and a new computer upgrade had been installed to rectify any errors being made.

The spokesperson said: “Since the arrest which sadly resulted in Mr Temple’s tragic death, IOPC investigators identified opportunities for organisational learning and the force underwent significant change and improvement in the two years after. This has included staff changes, additional training and changes in processes and working practices.”

The office added that Brian’s complaints were investigated following his arrest, which resulted in Cleveland Police acknowledging the mistake made in a letter of apology sent to him in December 2017.

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