Operator cut off a killer

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The Independent Online
A POLICE emergency telephone operator has been dismissed for hanging up on a killer minutes before he stabbed a care worker to death, it emerged last night.

John Rous, 48, a schizophrenic, named Jonathan Newby as his victim when he telephoned the police, making death threats. But the civilian operator rang off after several minutes - and within an hour the 22-year-old hostel volunteer was dead.

Last week, Rous was sent to Broadmoor when he admitted manslaughter at the Cyrenians hostel for the homeless in Oxford. Police went to the hostel only after the killing.

The operator who took the call was dismissed after a disciplinary hearing.

Mr Newby's mother, Jane, 46, of Devizes, Wiltshire, said the operator 'took away the chance of my son's life being saved' and would have to live with that knowledge.

Elizabeth Leyland, the Cyrenians' chairman, said: 'We have tightened and strengthened our management procedures.'