POLICE “missed opportunities” to stop a man who killed his two girlfriends.

An independent review into Sussex Police’s investigations into the deaths of Caroline Devlin and Susan Nicholson’s deaths has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct after identifying potential missed opportunities.

Robert Trigg was jailed for life last July after he was found guilty of the 2011 murder of Ms Nicholson, 52, and the manslaughter of 35-year-old Ms Devlin in 2006.

He was in a relationship with both women when he killed them in their Worthing homes.

But Sussex Police did not find the similarities between the cases suspicious and treated Trigg like a bereaved lover rather than a suspect.

At least two of the same police officers were involved in both investigations and were aware of Trigg’s connection to the cases. He had a history of violence towards them and other women.

Ms Devlin was originally judged to have died of natural causes.

A coroner ruled that Ms Nicholson died accidentally when Trigg claimed he rolled on top of her unintentionally while they slept on a sofa.

Sussex Police investigated its own officers three times but found nothing wrong with its handling of Ms Nicholson’s case.

A force spokesman said: “Thames Valley Police have completed an independent review of the investigations.

“The review refers to potential missed opportunities and we have therefore referred it to the IOPC for their consideration as to the way in which they wish those issues to be progressed.

“We are truly sorry it took so long to get justice and it is important we learn any lessons and provide answers for the families.”

The full report is not due to be published until the end of the year.

The IOPC said it is has not yet decided how to proceed or whether it would investigate the findings.

Surrey Police will now review how complaints about the investigations were handled.

SUSAN Nicholson’s parents spent six years, and more than £10,000 of their savings,fighting for justice.

Elizabeth and Peter Skelton, of Goring, claim they were “ignored” and “failed” by the Sussex Police and every public body tasked with holding them to account. They have continued to accuse police of a “cover-up”.

Mrs Skelton, 81, said yesterday: “Finally people are starting to listen to us. Finally we feel like we are being taken seriously.

“The more you look back at it all, the more furious you feel about how it was handled. They made fools of us. We keep thinking ‘How could the police do such a thing?’

“It’s very important for us that the full reports are made public so this can’t happen to anyone ever again.”

Mr Skelton, 83, added: “This confirms what we knew all along. They can’t just say this was a mistake. We have been going on about this for six years. The evidence was pointing to this the whole time.

“Now we want to see the information they have.”

Mrs Skelton, who had a minor heart attack during her campaign for justice, added: “We want to read the findings in full and seek legal advice. We won’t rest until all our questions are answered.

“Now is the time for the (IOPC) and (Sussex police and crime commissioner) Katy Bourne to step in and hold the police to account where they failed to do so before. We have been very unimpressed so far.”