REVEALED: Why killer rapist John Cannan wasn't charged with murder of missing Suzy Lamplugh
KILLER rapist John Cannan (above left) was not charged with the murder of missing Suzy Lamplugh because he could have argued he would not get a fair trial, a former detective who investigated him has said.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) also declined to authorise a charge due to failings in the original police investigation, according to ex-Met Det Supt Jim Dickie, who led a re-investigation of the case between 2000 and 2006.
Mr Dickie said he met with prosecutor Mark Dennis KC, now an Old Bailey Judge, who said in a conference that Cannan could argue he would not get a fair trial, due to so much media coverage suggesting he ab ducted Suzy (below).
Mr Dickie said: "He could have made an abuse of process argument."
Because officers on the original investigation failed to follow valid lines of inquiry, it left a second abuse of process argument open to Cannan, Mr Dickie said he was told.
Mr Dickie said he would have preferred for those applications to be tested in court.
A CPS spokesman said the case was archived so they could not comment but "any charging decision will have been made in line with our legal test."
Mr Dickie is convinced Cannan abducted and murdered missing estate agent Suzy Lamplugh and branded him a "psychopath" who should never be released.
He spoke ahead of a Parole Board decision this week on whether Cannan, 69, should be let out of Full Sutton Prison in York.
He also revealed that forensics experts are using new technology to grow DNA in a lab sourced from a smudged fingerprint on the rear view mirror of Miss Lamplugh's car that could identify her killer.
Cannan is currently serving three life sentences after being convicted in 1988 of the murder of Shirley Banks (below) plus multiple other sexual offences.
On October 8,1987 Cannan abducted newlywed Shirley, 29, before raping and killing her, dumping her body in the Quantock Hills.
Suzy Lamplugh, 25, disappeared months earlier on July 28 1986 after arranging to meet a client called Mr Kipper in Fulham, west London. She was never seen again and no body has been found.
In 2002 Cannan was named by police as the main suspect.
Mr Dickie, who was senior investigating officer on a reinvestigation of Miss Lamplugh's disappearance from 2000 to 2006, said: "I don't think he should ever be released to the day he dies. He will always be a threat to the female population. He is a convicted murderer and serial sex offender and when he was released in 1986 Suzy Lamplugh went missing, he went on to murder Shirley Banks, for which he was convicted, and went on to abduct, rape and indecently assault and attempt to rape a number of other women around that time. He is a serial sex offender and they want to release him, why?
"He is a psychopath and thinks he is on a higher intellectual plane. There is a dating agency video (still shot above) of him which shows what a lying, manipulative, dangerous bas***d he is.
"We interviewed him twice and one was captured on video and his body language is quite telling. He sometimes speaks in riddles as he thinks he has got superior intellect to everyone else and tries to turn the question back at you. He is not an easy person to interview but equally his body language said quite a lot."
Mr Dickie said Cannan was a "dead ringer" for the photofit of the suspect (top right) in the original Lamplugh investigation.
He said a number of witnesses picked out Cannan from a collage of videos, including one of him, he was seen getting out of a taxi by a witness in Fulham Broadway the morning Suzy went missing with a bottle of champagne and was seen the day before looking through a nearby estate agency window by another witness.
Another witness saw a pair that looked like Cannan and Suzy arguing in a dark left hand drive BMW, like one he had access to, before it drove off at speed, the day she vanished and near to where her car was found, he said and Cannan's nickname in prison was "Kipper."
Cannan was released from an earlier seven-year prison sentence for rape on July 25, three days before Suzy went missing.
Mr Dickie said: "He was released on the Friday and Suzy went missing on the Monday. He was quite uncomfortable during the interview as he had no alibi from the time he left prison until he ended up at his mother's about a week later."
Sandra Court, 29, (above) was abducted and murdered with her body dumped on May 3 1986, nearly three months before Suzy disappeared.
Mr Dickie said that in the 18 months before Cannan's release he was allowed out for short durations, with lax supervision and he had been placed in the town the weekend she was murdered making him also a suspect in that case.
Mr Dickie (below) remains hopeful he could still be charged due to the ongoing forensic work.
He said DNA was never taken from the smudged fingerprint as it was feared it would destroy the evidence.
He said: "Now, they can grow DNA like a culture and that means they don't destroy the original sample and that is basically what is happening as we speak."
Mr Dickie assured women that as Cannan (being arrested below) operated in the analogue era with no mobile phone, debit cards, ANPR and less CCTV, it was unlikely he would have evaded justice today.
A Met Police spokesman said on its Lamplugh probe: "We know that one piece of information could provide the breakthrough for detectives. Today, we have the benefit of being able to utilise cutting-edge forensic science and other technology where needed, to find and analyse evidence. Officers will continue to revisit forensic opportunities where viable. We will continue to assess any new information."
A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: "Dangerous prisoners undergo a strict assessment by the Parole Board to determine if they are safe to release and the Justice Secretary can submit a view to them for consideration.”