THE police watchdog has decided not to investigate South Yorkshire Police’s contact with a murder victim in the days before his death, instead sending the case back to the force itself for an internal inquiry.
Last week, the force made a mandatory self-referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) over its contact with 51-year-old Jerry Appicella.
The referral concerned police contact with Mr Appicella, of Denaby Main, in the weeks before his death.
On Friday, the IOPC confirmed it would not be investigating the incident and handed the matter back to the force.
An IOPC spokesman said: “We have assessed the information provided by South Yorkshire Police and decided that this should be investigated locally.”
A spokeswoman for the force confirmed the investigation — which will run separately to the murder inquiry — would look at the extent of the contact the police had which may or may not have contributed to Mr Appicella’s death.
His body was found at a property in Craganour Place on December 15.
Police believe he was involved in an altercation on December 3 in an alleyway leading to Hickleton Street in Denaby Main.
Two men and a teenager - Shea Nicholson (19), of Lincoln Close, Denaby Main, Martel Brown (23), of no fixed address, and a 14-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons - have been charged with his murder.
The defendants have been remanded in custody to appear at Sheffield Crown Court later this month.