Devon

Adrian Munday murder: Probation firm DDC 'failed family'

Adrian Munday Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Adrian Munday's burned and battered body was found at his house in Devon in October 2015

The probation service failed the family of a vulnerable man murdered by a drug addict, a report has said.

Adrian Munday, 51, was murdered in 2015 by violent criminal Stuart Hodgkin, who was supervised by privately-run Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Rehabilitation Company (DDC).

Its failings prolonged grief and "added further stress", Mr Munday's family said after an ombudsman investigation.

The heavily-criticised DDC went into administration in February.

In the same month a damning inspector's report said it was "not delivering probation services to anywhere near the standards we and the public expect".

Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Stuart Hodgkin was under the supervision of the private Dorset, Devon & Cornwall Rehabilitation Company

In a new investigation into Mr Munday's case, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Rob Behrens said the DDC had caused "additional distress to the victim's family at an already difficult time".

He found the DDC:

  • Delayed releasing a report on the circumstances of Mr Munday's death to the family
  • Made errors in dating the report and "communicated poorly"
  • Failed to handle complaints by the family correctly.

Mr Munday was killed by Hodgkin after he took over his home in Newton Abbot in Devon, making him sleep on the floor and demanding money from his family.

His body was found burned with multiple injuries, including head and brain injuries, on 6 October 2015.

Hodgkin was jailed for life for murder and died of cancer in April 2017.

The report in February on the DDC, by HM Chief Inspector of Probation Dame Glenys Stacey, said the "professional ethos of probation has buckled under the strain of the commercial pressures put upon it here, and it must be restored urgently".

The Ministry of Justice branded the DDC's performance as "unacceptably poor".

Last year a safeguarding report over Mr Munday's murder found fault with a number of organisations including health, probation and rehabilitation services.

Image caption Adrian Munday's sister Sarah Compton had said he was "a gentle giant with a generous heart"

Mr Munday's sister Sarah Compton said she hoped probation services were "able to learn valuable lessons" from the ombudsman's report "so no-one else has to go through the ordeal that we have".

The DDC was taken over after it went into administration in February by Seetec, which also runs the service in Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

Emma Richards, chief probation officer for Seetec's Devon service, said she had the "deepest sympathy" for Mr Munday's family.

She said a new model of service had been introduced including a special independent unit to "oversee serious further offences, complaints and learning and development" to "lessen the risk of other families going through this experience again".

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