West Mercia Police is to be investigated over the way it handled a case of a father accused of driving his car into the River Avon at Evesham in an attempt to kill two children, one of whom died days later.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is conducting an inquiry into the case of Christopher Grady, 41, of no fixed address, who has been remanded, charged with attempted murder.

He is likely to be charged with murder when he reappears in court on May 31.

The police watchdog launched the probe after it emerged police had had prior contact with the family.

IPCC Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said: “This is a terrible and tragic incident in which a young girl has died. I extend my sincere condolences to the family at this very difficult time.

“The officers who responded to the incident at the River Avon tried very hard to save both children and our investigation does not indicate that any concerns currently exist regarding their actions.

“However, I feel it is appropriate for us to manage an investigation into the prior contact police had with the family.

“This is not an indication that concerns exist regarding the actions of the police on these occasions, but in incidents like this the public need to be confident that the actions of the police were as they should be and all the correct steps were taken in line with the force policies and procedures.”

Mr Grady has been remanded in custody until May 31 when he is expected to be charged with the murder of his daughter Gabrielle, five. His son Ryan, six, was also in the car but was rescued.

Both children were taken to hospital after the incident. Ryan was discharged last Sunday but Gabrielle, who had remained under water for two hours, died on Sunday.