Family rejects report on drug addict murder

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The Independent Online

The family of a grandfather stabbed to death by a mental health patient after he left a newsagent, today criticised a report into the case as seriously flawed and totally inadequate.

Philip Hendy, 75, a father of three, was knifed twice in the back and neck by mentally-ill Stephen Newton after paying his newspaper bill near his home in Bristol in April 2007.

Newton, a delusional drug addict, was jailed for life two years after being convicted of murder.

Following the case, NHS South West commissioned an inquiry into whether there were failures in the care Newton received from the Avon and Wiltshire Partnership Mental Health Trust.

The 100 page report, published today, found the murder could not reasonably have been predicted or prevented and the responsibility for the death of Mr Hendy lies with Newton.

However, the report does identify a number of areas of poor practice, serious omissions and concern about the Trust's policies and procedures.

Mr Hendy's son, Julian, a documentary film maker from Leeds, was critical of the findings and maintained Newton should never have been free to walk the streets.

He said: "Although today's report highlights a string of extremely serious failures by health care workers, shockingly it finds the killing was not preventable.

"We do not accept this finding. It ignores the repeated, basic failings in care. We believe that had these failings not occurred, in all probability our Dad would still be alive today."