Memories of son trashed by police

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A grieving mum who was handed a binbag full of household rubbish instead of her dead son’s possessions is still waiting for police to rectify their blunder.

Diane Down plucked up courage to pick up the 18-year-old’s clothes and possessions from Milton Keynes police station a year ago.

But when she opened the black bags at her Stantonbury home she found them full of dirty tissues, food wrappers and empty cans.

Police immediately apologised and promised to track down the correct items and return them to Diane.

This week she said: “It’s been a whole year now and I’ve heard nothing. All I want are my dead baby’s clothes back.”

Trainee scaffolder Sam was found dead in mysterious circumstances while staying overnight at a friend’s house in October 2007.

Afterwards an inquest heard how the friend Elliot Cooper-Carroll woke in the morning to find him unconscious with a cut on his head.

But Elliot and his mother did not call an ambulance until four hours later, after they had eaten lunch and emptied their rubbish bins, the inquest was told.

Police investigated but no charges were made.

Diane subsequently fought through the High Court for a second inquest to be held, claiming vital forensic evidence had been destroyed.

After her plea was refused she sought closure by collecting Sam’s clothes from police.

She said: “To be given a bag of rubbish was just insulting. It broke my heart.”

The Citizen this week asked Thames Valley Police why Sam’s clothes had still not been returned to his mum.

A spokesman pledged to investigate but did not get back with a statement before the newspaper went to press.