WREXHAM’S MP has met the new justice secretary to discuss the murder of Nicholas Churton and the ongoing investigations into the case.

Ian Lucas met Robert Buckland, along with officials from the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office, at the end of July, days before the Minister was promoted to Secretary of State.

They discussed the case of Mr Churton, who was murdered in his Wrexham home in March 2017.

His killer was Jordan Davidson, a dangerous criminal who had been arrested – and subsequently released from police custody – just days earlier for possession of an offensive weapon. Davidson was on licence from prison at the time of the arrest.

Mr Lucas has been pressing North Wales Police and the probation services for answers to several key questions relating to the crime, including why Davidson was not sent back to jail when he was in custody. The case is subject to three Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigations, two of which are yet to conclude.

Mr Lucas said: “The Minister was fully aware of the seriousness of the case.

"In fact, he authorised the appeal against the leniency of the sentence imposed on Jordan Davidson when he was Solicitor General because Davidson’s crimes were so horrific.

"I had hoped the second investigation would have been finished by now and was led to believe it would be concluded in July. But it has been delayed and both Mr Churton’s family, with whom I am in close contact, and myself are still waiting.

“The Minister and I agreed we needed to see the outcome of the remaining IOPC inquiries and would then discuss the detail further.”

Mr Lucas has highlighted the case numerous times in Parliament, including during a Westminster Hall debate in June 2018 when the Home Office admitted there had been ‘significant failings’ in how the prison and probation system had handled Davidson. During a speech in the House of Commons in April, he used parliamentary privilege to allege the authorities had been involved in a ‘cover-up’ over the case.

Mr Lucas said: “I have enormous respect for the police and this is not a witch-hunt against any one individual in the police or in the probation service. My fear is that Mr Churton was failed by our criminal justice system. The probation system was part-privatised by Chris Grayling in 2015 when he was justice secretary and only this year it was described as ‘irredeemably flawed’ by the Chief Inspector for Probation. Tory cuts to policing have also increased pressure on officers who have had their number reduced by 20% in North Wales since 2010.

“These are grave political failings and we must learn from them and ensure a case as tragic as Mr Churton’s does not happen again.”

The two IOPC investigations which are yet to be concluded are now in the hands of IOPC ‘decision makers’ who review the findings and decide what – if any action – needs to be taken. ‘Churton 2’ is looking into the release of Davidson following his arrest for possession of an offensive weapon in March 2017, while ‘Churton 3’ concerns information supplied by the former Chief Constable of North Wales Police, Mark Polin, to Mr Lucas in relation to the other IOPC inquiries into the case.