Probation officers 'failed the public'

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The Independent Online

Four probation officers have been suspended after a scathing report denounced the "collective failure" to supervise two released criminals who ended up killing the banker John Monckton.

The Chief Inspector of Probation catalogued a series of basic mistakes by staff in their attempts to keep track of Damien Hanson - who had been assessed at a 91 per cent risk of reoffending - and Elliot White after they were released early from jail.

Mr Monckton was stabbed to death when he confronted the pair as they tried to break into his home in Chelsea, west London. His wife, Homeyra, was left fighting for her life after being seriously wounded.

Hanson, 25, was jailed for 36 years for murder. Elliot White, 24, was imprisoned for 18 years for charges including manslaughter.

When it emerged that both men had been on early release schemes, Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, ordered an inquiry into the lapses that led to the killing in November 2004.

The Chief Inspector, Andrew Bridges, said: "The public is entitled to expect the authorities to do their job properly in managing serious and dangerous offenders - which simply did not happen in the cases of Hanson and White."