Scotland’s police watchdog has launched a probe into the actions of officers in the lead up to the murder of a Fife pensioner.
The body of Annie Temple, 97, was discovered at her home in Kinglassie on October 25 last year and a 36-year-old man later appeared in court charged with her murder.
It has now been revealed that the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) has been called in to investigate the activities of Police Scotland officers before she was found dead.
A spokesman for the PIRC said: “We are investigating the actions of Police Scotland officers prior to the death of a 97-year-old woman, whose body was found at her home in Kinglassie, Fife, on October 25 2019.
“The matter was referred to us by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and a report will be submitted to them in due course.”
The PIRC was unable to make further comment on the case, which is subject to live court proceedings.
It is understood police went to Ms Temple’s bungalow in West End after concerns were raised for her welfare and found her body.
In the weeks that followed, the village was the focus of intense police activity.
Forensic specialists and plain clothes officers could be seen visiting the property.
Meanwhile, police officers conducted door to door inquiries.
Local businesses said police had asked to see CCTV footage from their premises.
At first the death was treated as “unexplained” but in mid November Sandeep Patel, 36, was arrested and later appeared in private at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court facing a murder charge and an allegation of fraud.
A neighbour said Ms Temple, who was believed to have been Kinglassie’s oldest resident, had lived alone and been independent until a few months before her death.