Regional News — January 5, 2017 at 8:30 am — Updated: January 5, 2017 at 12:46 am

Police watchdog probes Janet Commins murder hunt


Family photo: North Wales Police

An investigation is continuing into how North Wales Police officers handled the murder and rape of Flint schoolgirl Janet Commins over forty years ago.

The force referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission after 57 year-old Stephen Hough was arrested and charged last September with killing and assaulting the 15 year-old in 1976. Another man was previously jailed for manslaughter after admitting responsibility for her death.

The IPCC said its inquiry would consider whether detectives involved in the initial investigation acted accordingly with the rules in place for detaining and interviewing suspects. It will also investigate how North Wales Police handled fresh information that emerged in 2006.


Jan Williams, the IPCC commissioner for Wales, said on Tuesday: ”This will be a complex investigation not least because of the passage of time, but it is important for all concerned that we independently investigate the case.”

Miss Commins’ body was found on the playing fields of Ysgol Gwynedd, two days after she disappeared from her home to meet friends at the town’s sports centre. Six months later, a man was sentenced to twelve years in prison for manslaughter.


Stephen Hough (57) is due to enter a plea, ahead of a trial at Mold Crown Court scheduled to begin at the end of February. He is also accused of three further sex offences, two of which allegedly occurred last year.

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