Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

BLUNDER THAT KILLED MONCKTON; Serious Errors by Probation Service Blamed for Fatal Attack on Financier

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

BLUNDER THAT KILLED MONCKTON; Serious Errors by Probation Service Blamed for Fatal Attack on Financier

Article excerpt

Byline: MARTIN BENTHAM

SERIOUS individual and organisational failures in London's probation service are today blamed for the murder of City financier John Monckton.

An independent report ordered by the Government also criticises the Parole Board for failing to ensure that Mr Monckton's killer Damien Hanson was properly monitored after his release.

The damning report concludes that Hanson - who killed Mr Monckton after being released early from a 12-year jail sentence - was only free to carry out the murder because crucial information about his violent past was overlooked.

It criticises five individual probation staff, who may face disciplinary action, for failing to supervise either Hanson or his accomplice Elliot White properly.

But it also blames wider "group" failures in the London Probation Service and accuses managers of running an organisation suffering from major flaws.

In his report, the chief inspector of probation Andrew Bridges found: . Vital details about Hanson's violent character were not included in a report drawn up prior to his release by prison and probation staff. As a result he was not deemed to be a high risk.

. A key psychological assessment of Hanson, which should have taken place within five days of him being freed, was either lost or never conducted.

. After his release, Hanson was not placed under supervision of a proper public protection team.

. The Parole Board failed to ensure that a plan for monitoring Hanson after he was freed was implemented properly.

. White should have been brought back to court for repeated breaches of a drug treatment order, which could have returned him to jail.

. Failings occurred within the London Probation Service at both individual and organisational level.

The report follows the public outcry over the murder of Mr Monckton, 49, at his Chelsea home in November 2004. The City financier was stabbed eight times and his wife Homeyra twice, as Hanson and White broke in after deliberately targeting the wealthy couple.

After the killing, it emerged Hanson had been freed months earlier despite serving only seven years of his sentence for attempted murder. …

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