Pc found dead after images found on computer

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A POLICE officer has been found dead only hours after his arrest, which is understood to be related to an image found on a computer.

Kevin Ellis, a West Yorkshire officer, was released from custody on Wednesday evening but it is believed he never made it home to his family.

Instead, his body was found in woods at Lofthouse, close to junction 29 of the M62, at lunchtime on Thursday.

West Yorkshire Police declined to formally identify the officer yesterday but well-placed sources named him as Kevin Ellis.

It is understood Pc Ellis lived in the Rothwell area and had a partner and two children.

A force spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that the body of a 33-year-old man was found in woods at Lofthouse at 12.40pm on April 18.

“There were no suspicious circumstances. An inquest is due to open shortly.

“He was a serving police officer who had been arrested on April 17 and spoken to in relation to alleged criminal offences.

“The matter has been referred to the IPCC in accordance with established procedures.

“The force extends its sincere sympathy to the family.”

It is understood Pc Ellis was taken to Dewsbury police station for questioning on Wednesday after being arrested in connection with an image found on a computer.

He was legally represented and also received support from West Yorkshire Police Federation, as he was entitled to, after being arrested.

Pc Ellis, who was based in the Wakefield division, was released on police bail around 9pm on Wednesday but is not thought to have gone home before he was found dead the next day.

An IPCC spokesman said: “The IPCC received a referral from West Yorkshire Police in relation to the death of a serving police officer whose body was found in woods in Lofthouse on 18 April.

“The referral was made as the death followed the officer’s arrest on 17 April in relation to alleged criminal offences.

“The IPCC has assessed the referral and decided it is content for the incident to remain under investigation by West Yorkshire Police at this stage.

“The IPCC has requested the matter be re-referred should any conduct matters come to light during the investigation.”

Jon Christopher, chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation, said: “Our thoughts go out to the family, friends and colleagues of this officer.

“We will do all we can in terms of the welfare of those affected as and when it is appropriate.”

The coroner’s office in Leeds said it was aware of the incident but no date for the opening of an inquest had been set. It is likely to open next week.

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said: “I have every confidence in West Yorkshire Police to carry out the investigation and conclude this matter properly in line with the view of the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

“I would like to extend my condolences to the family of this officer.”

It is believed the last West Yorkshire Police officer to take his own life was Simon Jenkinson who hanged himself shortly after he was questioned and bailed in connection with a fraud inquiry in 2010.

Sgt Simon Jenkinson was found three days after he had been arrested and suspended in July 2010.