In November 1986 after the trial of Jeremy Bamber the trial Judge Mr Justice Drake ordered an enquiry into the conduct of Essex Police. The investigation was directed by the Chief Constable, Mr Robert Bunyard. The review was conducted by Detective Chief Superintendent Dickinson of Essex Police assisted by DI Storey.
This investigation consisted of interviews with Police officers and witnesses but no statements were taken although statements and other material submissions from pre-trial were used during the enquiry. It was also noted that the papers available did not include any written records of the original senior investigating officer DCI Thomas Jones who died in a tragic accident at his home on 11th May 1986.
The Dickinson report was an account which relied heavily on the accounts of Jeremy Bamber’s relatives and in particular his uncle Robert Boutflour. The final report does not accurately reflect events which were uncovered by Dickinson and Storey. It is only post 2002 appeal that extensive handwritten accounts of interviews have been disclosed to the defence.
Missing from the Defence copies were the interviews of Julie Mugford and her mother Mary Mugford. In addition to this many of the senior police officer’s interviews are also missing. Overall the review inaccurately drew on accounts which contradict the original statements of witnesses and even contradicted court testimony. It also presented Jeremy Bamber in a biased way using the accounts of Julie Mugford and Robert Boutflour to provide a complete character assassination of Jeremy presented as a money hungry sexual predator who was also engaged in “unsavoury homosexual activities”.
At the end of the report DCI Dickinson concluded that the most senior investigating officer had not visited the scene until after the bodies had been disturbed. He also found that owing to a "shortage of resources," senior officers DCI Jones, DI Cook and DI Montgomery had failed to request that a pathologist and ballistics expert attend the scene with the bodies in situ. Recommendations were made pertaining to these points and also included issues of training and force communication with other police sources.
DCI Dickinson would have us believe that Jeremy Bamber was so sophisticated that he managed to fool a large number of senior and junior police officers at the scene and later a pathologist and ballistics expert. We put it that it is highly unlikely and improbable that experienced police officers attending such a tragic scene would have ignored key evidence if they had not been 100% convinced that Sheila Caffell had killed the family.
In 2002 the appeal court judges placed little significance on any of the Dickinson report referred to by the Defence including the issue of inheritance an area which has developed further in light of evidence disclosed since the 2002 appeal which brings into question the credibility of key prosecution witnesses in particular that of Robert Boutflour.