June 2018

Police watchdog report reveals investigators ‘not told’ of previous allegation against Grindr rapist

A police watchdog has found a previous allegation against a serial rapist for drugging and raping a man was not passed to an investigation team probing four similar incidents.

Sam Ashley, 30, was already being monitored by police due to a child sex offence conviction in 2013 when he went on to rape and drug men he met on the gay hook-up app Grindr in 2016.

But a report found investigators looking into the attacks were not told by Hampshire police’s offender management team that he was investigated in 2006 for a similar allegation. Ashley was not prosecuted over the old allegation, which he denied, that he raped an intoxicated man.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct report also reveals Ashley, of Lynton Gardens, Fareham, was not formally rated a ‘high risk’ until after the fourth victim in 2016 alleged he had been raped.

After a five-month investigation the IOPC made five recommendations following the case of Ashley, who was on Monday jailed for 23 years.

The watchdog said ‘two Hampshire Constabulary staff should receive management action regarding their performance and (we) offered learning recommendations on how sex offenders should be managed that have been accepted and acted upon by Hampshire Constabulary’.

Two people from Hampshire police, a staff investigator and a detective sergeant, both from offender management, were investigated by the IOPC but no misconduct proceedings were bought.