A MURDER victim refused to cooperate with police to prosecute the man who later killed him.

John Masser was murdered in Moss Drive, Basildon.

The 49-year-old was attacked on October 1, 2017. He was taken to hospital with serious head injuries, and died on Tuesday, October 3.

An investigation into Essex Police’s handling of the case was carried out by The Independent Office For Police Conduct (IOPC).

A spokesman said: “Our investigation found that the man had been repeatedly targeted by local individuals both before and after an historic allegation of rape was made against him, which ultimately proved to be the motivating factor behind the assault that killed him.

“The evidence suggested Essex Police did attempt a number of prosecutions against those involved in victimising the man, with one proving successful.

“However, the man declined to support a number of potential prosecutions – including one against the man who would ultimately go on to murder him.”

Steven Keeble, 37, was subsequently jailed for life for his murder.


Steven Keeble

Mr Masser was due to stand trail for rape, an allegation he had always denied and was never convicted of, two months after his death.

The IOPC spokesman added: “Essex Police addressed safeguarding and welfare concerns with other agencies, but one of the key elements to the man’s safety – namely a new address – could not be secured. The evidence suggested this ultimately proved to be a factor in his death.

“Based on the evidence available we found no indication that any person serving with the police may have behaved in a manner that would justify the bringing of disciplinary proceedings or had committed a criminal offence.”

Keeble was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 14 years after repeatedly kicking Mr Masser in the head.


John Masser