1986
Robert Napper is fined and given a conditional discharge after being found in possession of an airgun
10 March 1992
Napper tries to rape a 17 year old girl. Eight days later, he sexually assaults another teenage girl at knifepoint
May 1992
Napper grabs a 22 year old mother pushing her two year old daughter in a buggy along the Green Chain Walk in broad daylight. He strangles, batters and rapes her
15 July 1992
Napper murders Rachel Jane Nickell: The only witness, her two year old son
August 1993
Police interview Napper after a couple complain about him spying on a young blonde in her flat. The officers’ notes read ‘Subject strange, abnormal, should be considered as a possible rapist, indecency type suspect.’
September 1992
Police first arrest Colin Stagg
3 November 1993
Robert Napper rapes and murders 28 year old Samantha Bisset, and Jazmine, her four year old daughter
May 20 1994
Napper is placed under police surveillance
September 1994
The case against Colin Stagg collapses as Mr Justice Ognall condemns the ‘honey trap’ as ‘deceptive conduct of the grossest kind.’
October 1995
Napper admits manslaughter due to diminished responsibility
1998
‘Lizzie James’, the undercover detective, now 33, takes early retirement
2001
‘Lizzie James’, the undercover detective receives £125,000 from the Met in an out of court settlement. Alex Hanscombe, Rachel’s son, receives just £90,000 from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
September 2003
New DNA profiling matches Napper to the Nickell killing
Summer 2007
Colin Stagg receives a record compensation payment of £700,000 from the Home Office
18 December 2008
Robert Napper pleads guilty to Nickell’s murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility. For the first time, the Met police apologise to Colin Stagg when assistant commissioner John Yates writes to him and makes a public statement of regret
June 2009
The Independent Police Complaints Commission release a damning report concluding that the Met had missed many opportunities to stop Napper before he killed Rachel
2010
Andre and Alex Hanscombe lodge a complaint over the Met’s failure to capture Napper with the European Court of Human Rights
2011
Alex Hanscombe gives his first ever interview to the press. The little boy whose earliest memories are of seeing his mother murdered, and who has spent the rest of his life abroad as a result, comes across as a young man remarkably lacking in self pity, bitterness, or the need for revenge