An independent review will take place after “fundamental failures” led to the collapse of disgraced DJ Jonathan King’s trial, a Police and Crime Commissioner said.
Surrey Police have apologised for serious failings in their investigation and an urgent independent review has been commissioned following the decision to dismiss the case due to failures in the disclosure process.
There will be no further action against King and he will not be re-tried over alleged historical sex offences.
The 73-year-old, of Bayswater, had denied 23 serious sexual assault charges against boys aged between 14 and 16, alleged to have taken place between 1970 and 1988.
The trial collapsed in June and it has been confirmed that the proceedings against King will not continue.
King, an ex-pop star and producer for acts including Genesis, was released from jail in 2005 after serving half of a seven-year jail term for abusing underage boys between 1983 and 1989.
He was previously found guilty at the Old Bailey in 2001 of sex offences against five youngsters aged 14 and 15.
In a statement after the recent proceedings were stopped, Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, David Munro, said: “I have read the judge’s decision in full and as the Police and Crime Commissioner for this county I’m afraid it makes very difficult and concerning reading.
“It is clear to me there were fundamental failures in the disclosure process which have resulted in the decision to dismiss what was an important trial involving alleged victims of serious sexual offences.
“I am very sorry for all those involved who have been badly let down by this unacceptable and troubling situation.
“They have been denied the opportunity for a fair trial due to the undoubted shortcomings of disclosure which have been laid bare.
“I am extremely disappointed and have contacted the Chief Constable and already spoken to the Deputy Chief Constable about this matter seeking a fuller explanation of what went wrong.
“We are in agreement that a thorough independent review must be commissioned immediately to establish the full facts and scrutinise both this case, and the wider disclosure process within Surrey Police to explore whether this was an isolated incident.”
Mr Munro added: “Clearly something has gone drastically wrong in this case and this must be addressed as a matter of urgency or we risk all that hard work being undone.
“I will ensure my office carefully scrutinise the review and any changes required going forward to restore the public’s faith in this area of policing.”
Surrey Police said it was aware of the ruling at Southwark Crown Court to stay proceedings against King, adding: “We recognise that there were serious organisational failings in the investigation, particularly in relation to disclosure process and we will continue to study the judge’s ruling in detail.”
A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said: “During the trial the police made us aware of issues with their handling of disclosure in the case.
“We asked the court to dismiss the jury and worked with the police to remedy this ahead of a retrial.
“We appreciate today’s decision will be upsetting for the complainants and will contact them to explain our decision not to appeal the ruling.
“While we are satisfied the CPS handled the disclosure process appropriately and robustly in this case, there is an unprecedented focus from police and prosecutors to drive improvements in this area.”
Birds solicitors, who represented King, said: “This case is yet another example of failings in the disclosure process.
“The judgment of the court sets out the detail of those failings which the judge described as a ‘debacle’.”
The CPS said King originally faced 24 charges, but one was dropped.