A grieving mother has condemned police for failing to detain the paranoid schizophrenic who mowed down her 12-year-old son, even after he warned officers that he would kill children.
Terence Glover, 52, had told police on eight occasions he would run youngsters over before finally carrying out his threat outside an Essex school on December 2, 2019.
Harley Watson was killed by Glover’s Ford Ka, which also struck nine other children and an adult.
The police watchdog this week found no further action was needed by Essex Police – even though an inquest concluded in June that the actions of the force and mental health services caused or contributed to Harley’s death.
Grieving mother Jo Fricker (left), 35, has condemned police for failing to detain the paranoid schizophrenic who mowed down her 12-year-old son, Harley Watson (left) even after he warned officers that he would kill children
Terence Glover, 52, had told police on eight occasions he would run youngsters over before finally carrying out his threat outside an Essex school on December 2, 2019
Harley’s mother Jo Fricker, 35, said the inquest findings showed the Independent Office for Police Conduct’s conclusions were ‘an insult to Harley’s memory’.
‘My son should be 15 right now and enjoying his summer holidays with his friends,’ she said.
‘I was there at the inquest. The IOPC report contradicts everything we heard. As far as I am concerned, the police are in the firing line alongside Glover.’
The IOPC probe found police at one point blocked Glover’s number after he bombarded the force with calls.
But the watchdog still cleared Essex Police of any blame and made no recommendations to change policies or training.
Miss Fricker, who was unable to even kiss her son goodbye because his body was regarded as a crime scene, said: ‘Glover was effectively going up to police in handcuffs and saying, ‘Take me’ and the police were turning him away.
‘To produce this report finding no one accountable is a mockery of my son’s memory.’
Miss Fricker, who lives with Harley’s stepfather, PE teacher Ryan, 36, and their daughter, Jessie, six, last saw her son alive when she kissed him goodbye at Debden Tube station as she travelled to London to her job as a personal assistant and Harley made his way to Debden High School.
Police pictured outside a property in Essex following the tragic incident
At 3.20pm, Harley and his friends walked through the school gates and were mown down by Glover’s car.
The killer had been known to mental health services since 2012, after he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was arrested for threatening a neighbour with a knife.
He was jailed indefinitely under the Mental Health Act at Snaresbrook Crown Court in January 2021 after pleading guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility and the attempted murder of a 23-year-old and nine children.
A jury reached a narrative conclusion at Harley’s inquest in June, finding that the actions of Essex Police ‘fell short’.
The inquest heard a mental health assessment into Glover two months before Harley’s death had lasted less than three minutes.
Miss Fricker last saw her son alive when she kissed him goodbye at Debden Tube station as she travelled to London for her job and Harley made his way to Debden High School
Floral bouquets left near the entrance to Debden Park High School following the tragic incident in 2019
Essex Police apologised for the force’s failings identified at the inquest.
But Graham Beesley of the IOPC said: ‘We found no indication that any officer or member of police staff breached standards of professional behaviour.
‘We acknowledge it is difficult to understand that no individual is accountable, however, the criticism from the inquest does not necessarily align with the threshold for disciplinary action.’
Miss Fricker is asking for donations in Harley’s memory to victim support group Hundred Families at www.hundredfamilies.org.