British police launched major investigation into Portsmouth nurse's death

Dominican Republic police refused to launch a probe into how a Portsmouth nurse died while on a holiday to mark her 20th wedding anniversary - leaving their British counterparts to try to pick up the pieces.

Friday, 13th April 2018, 11:13 am
Updated Friday, 13th April 2018, 11:16 am
David Amey

As reported, the inquest into Jeanette Amey’s death was held this week. Coroner David Horsley recorded an open verdict as he said there was not enough evidence to rule how exactly she died.

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David Amey

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The inquest was told by pathologist Dr Basil Purdue that a ‘single impact’ on her left side caused her injuries, which included shattered ribs and a ruptured spleen.

He said the potential causes were a ‘blow from an assailant wielding a smooth blunt object or a kick’, a ‘headlong throw or push so as to stumble across’ and landing on a piece of furniture or similar object.

Concerns over her husband David Amey’s versions of events together with a post-mortem revealing the extent of her injuries sparked a major police investigation in the UK.

Jeanette Amey

Led by Acting Detective Inspector Gary Cable, of Hampshire police, the probe, Operation Bowline, resulted in a file handed to prosecutors years after the death.

Concerns had been raised by Jeanette Amey’s daughters Claire Harper, 33, and Joanna Gravett, 31, over Mr Amey’s story.

Acting Det Insp Cable said: ‘As a result of those inconsistencies and on behalf of the family I felt a more detailed investigation was required.’

He revealed Mr Amey was arrested on suspicion of murder in February 2015 - years after his wife’s death at 9pm on September 13, 2012.

Jeanette Amey's daughter Claire Harper

Portsmouth Coroner’s Court heard there were difficulties in getting information from authorities in the Dominican Republic.

Police did not run an investigation despite a pathologist’s report recommending a ‘judicial investigation’.

Acting Det Insp Cable said: ‘There was none despite pressure from us to reopen the investigation in the Dominican Republic.’

He said they have ‘such a high murder rate’ and as it was a death in hospital ‘they were not prepared to open an investigation’.

David Amey

Acting Det Insp Cable said Mr Amey told police he wrote a detailed statement for an insurance company – but did not agree to have it released but said it was sent by email.

Mrs Harper, who spoke to her mum on the phone, said: ‘She said she was in a lot of pain – she was really scared.’

Jeanette Amey
Jeanette Amey's daughter Claire Harper