12/05/2006

Killer detention opportunities missed

A report has indicated that a number of opportunities to detain a psychiatric patient who fatally stabbed his girlfriend were missed.

Lisburn patient Paul Andrew McCleery, 39, killed his girlfriend Sharon Moore, 30, in March 2003, one month after he was released from a secure ward.

While the Eastern Health Board's McCleery Inquiry Report made a series of recommendations the author, Katherine McLaughlin, indicated that no one person was to blame for the incident and, having considered the actions of those involved in the case given the information available at the time, found no negligence.

Responding to the report Health Minister Paul Goggins said he would establish a regional group to oversee implementation of guidance from the McCleery Report.

The Minister said: "I would firstly like to offer my sincere sympathies to the Moore and McCleery families who have both been affected by these tragic events.

"This comprehensive review has identified a number of areas where procedures were not followed correctly. It has also made 48 recommendations and I intend to ensure that all recommendations are taken forward by local Health and Social Services Trusts immediately.

"I intend to establish a regional group to oversee the full implementation of the 2004 guidance and the recommendations made by the panel in relation to other policies and procedures.

"It should be remembered that these events are a very rare occurrence. However it is vital that Boards and Trusts learn from these findings in order to minimise the risk of such events occurring again and also improve the care provided to those people suffering from a mental disorder."

The McCleery Inquiry Report, which was published yesterday, was commissioned by the Eastern Health and Social Services Board to examine the fatal stabbing.

(SP/GB)

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