A WEST Yorkshire police officer found dead after going missing following his arrest on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children had committed suicide by hanging, an inquest jury has concluded.
In a narrative verdict, the inquest jury at Wakefield Coroner’s Court stated that there had been “insufficient communication” within West Yorkshire Police during the search for PC Kevin Ellis.
Divorced father-of-two PC Ellis, 33, was arrested at 1.20pm on April 17 2013 over an allegation involving indecent images of children.
He was released from custody on unconditional bail and was given a lift to his parent’s home in Lofthouse by a Police Federation representative.
But he got out of the car at 8.40pm saying he wanted to walk the rest of the way to clear his head.
PC Ellis had visited Premier Stores on Main Street, East Ardsley, at 9.42pm where he bought two bottles of Lambrini and a notebook, which he used to write a note found after his death.
His body was found suspended from a tree in the grounds of his former school - Rodillian Academy at Lofthouse - at around 12pm on April 18.
The inquest jury’s narrative conclusion stated: “Attempts were made to locate Kevin when it was noted at about 9.15pm that he had not arrived at his parent’s address.
“At about 9.42pm Kevin bought a number of items from a Premier store. At about 10.16pm Kevin was declared to be a high risk missing person. Throughout the whole process there was insufficient communication within West Yorkshire Police.”
The inquest had heard a total of 70 indecent images of children aged between seven and 13 were recovered from computer equipment seized from PC Ellis’s home in Castleford.
PC Ellis’s retired police officer father Peter Ellis has told the jury that he and his wife had no idea that their son had even been arrested or bailed to stay at their house.
Peter Ellis has said that had he been informed of his son’s arrest, he would have picked him up from Dewsbury Police Station.
Temporary Deputy Chief Constable John Robins said after the inquest: “Our thoughts remain with the family of Kevin Ellis at this difficult time for them.
“Shortly after Kevin’s death we conducted a comprehensive review that identified areas for improvement and as a result new processes were implemented at the time.
“West Yorkshire Police remains focused on safeguarding all vulnerable people, including both victims of crime and suspects. We remain committed to continual learning and improvement.”