Dangerous schizophrenic 'freed to kill'

Failures in the care of a paranoid schizophrenic who killed a pregnant mother of five were revealed yesterday by an independent investigation which highlighted a series of blunders leading up to the tragedy.

Tina Stevenson, 31, died with her unborn twins in January 2005, when she was stabbed in the street close to her home in Hull by Benjamin Holiday. The 25-year-old, described by police as "dangerous and troubled", had missed his medication the day before. Two months earlier he had been taken into a secure unit for a two-week assessment – one of six admissions to hospital over four years – but was later released. The report described this decision as a "missed opportunity".

The inquiry, by NHS Yorkshire and Humber, found Holiday's mental health problem was "under-treated", and his condition should have been "more assertively managed". It also concluded that he was at times able to dictate his own treatment.

The report admitted Holiday, referred to as B, was a difficult patient to engage with who was skilled at masking his symptoms. But it concluded: "The root cause contributing to B's continuing severe mental disorder was that of 'under treatment'. B's situation and condition could and should have been more assertively managed."

Holiday, who has no recollection of the attack, pleaded guilty to manslaughter at Hull Crown Court in 2006 and was detained indefinitely at a psychiatric hospital. His family blamed his actions on failings by the Humber Mental Health Teaching NHS Trust which claimed there was no evidence at the time of his assessment that he posed a serious risk to the public. Trust chief executive, David Snowdon, apologised and said he fully accepted the findings of the report.

Marjorie Wallace of the campaign group Sane said patients should not be able to decide treatment. "He didn't want people to interfere and yes, we ought to respect the rights of a mentally ill person, but not if they are out living in the community and not if they are a risk to themselves or others."

The trust also apologised after being criticised in the same report over the care of Michael Torrie a mentally ill man who killed his elderly mother in 2003 at their home in Pocklington, East Yorkshire, after a "rapid reduction" in his medication.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Sport
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower