A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Police has confirmed that the force has referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission over how they handled the theft of a Twix chocolate bar from a Barnsley newsagents in 1987.
According to friends and family of Nigel Barncake, who is due to be released from prison next year after serving thirty years for the offence, police officers and detectives involved in the case committed a number of ‘serious rule breaches’ that have never been fully investigated.
His mother Patricia said: ‘After years of campaigning, we have finally been given access to confidential documents and Police notebooks that were archived at the time of the original investigation. We always thought that they adopted a heavy-handed approach towards a six-year-old child.’
‘Once we had gained access to the archived material, We noticed that a number of the notebooks had been altered, with large amounts of text erased altogether.’
‘In one example, it appears that an officer had been forced to say that it had been a King Size in spite of the shop’s CCTV showing that it was a regular Twix in his anorak pocket.’
‘The reason why Nigel received such a long sentence was that they linked the Twix theft to the disappearance of a Curly Wurly in Doncaster three months before, and detectives also alleged that the same DNA was found after a Walnut Whip was sexually assaulted on the same day in Sheffield.’
‘We maintain to this day that he was framed. He never used to set foot outside of Barnsley.’
We spoke to Det Insp Julian Nessels, who has been put in charge of Operation Caramel – this is the IPCC-led investigation that has been set up to examine the evidence of any wrongdoing in the handling of Nigel’s case.
He said: ‘While the investigation is in progress, we cannot comment specifically on any aspect of the proceedings. However, we can confirm that 124 other confectionary-related cases are being examined fbrom the period of 1983 until 2004.’