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Folkestone: Steve Holton murder case referred to IPCC over 999 call to Kent Police

By Matt Leclere

The police watchdog has been called in to investigate Kent Police over a suspected murder in Folkestone.

Steve Holton, 54, from Dover, died on August 19 in the town's harbour area but the force's "call handling procedures prior to his death" are also the subject of an investigation.

Kent Police referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) on the same day as the incident.

The fountain by the harbour has been taped off. Picture: Tony Flashman
The fountain by the harbour has been taped off. Picture: Tony Flashman

It is believed to relate to a call made to police in the aftermath of an incident which left Mr Holton, a grandfather, with serious injuries.

Paramedics pronounced the Folkestone man dead at the scene by the harbour wall after a call at 2.24am.

The IPCC did not confirm reports suggesting Mr Holton called police himself 45 minutes before the police attended.

A spokesman said: "We're not going into that level of detail. That's something the investigation will look at.

"We don't want to lead any potential witnesses and want them to tell us what they actually know not what they've read."

In a statement the IPCC added: "The IPCC have begun an investigation into Kent Police following the death of a man in Folkestone on 19 August.

Forensic investigators at the scene the following morning
Forensic investigators at the scene the following morning

"We are examining call handling procedures in the force control room following a 999 call made prior to his death.

"We have contacted the man’s family to explain our role and will be updating them throughout the investigation on our progress."

Seven people were arrested by Kent Police in connection with the incident.

A 28-year-old remains on bail while the investigation continues but the remaining six people were all released without charge.

Floral tributes were left to Steve Holton at the scene
Floral tributes were left to Steve Holton at the scene

A spokesman for Kent Police said: "Kent Police self-referred the incident to the IPCC on Saturday 19 August 2017 following an emergency call received on the morning of the incident.

"This remains as an ongoing IPCC investigation."

The force added it is continuing to investigate the "suspicious death".

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