Kris Wade: Legal action for killer sex attack claim

  • Published
Kris Wade and Christine JamesImage source, South Wales Police/Family photo
Image caption,
Kris Wade killed his neighbour Christine James

A health board which failed to "robustly" investigate sexual assault claims against a nursing assistant who became a murderer, is being sued.

Kris Wade was jailed for life after admitting killing neighbour Christine James in a sexually-motivated attack.

An ex-patient who alleged he sexually assaulted her is now suing Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University health board for damages caused by the alleged attack.

ABMU heath board said it was working to progress the claim quickly.

The patient was one of three women with learning disabilities who claimed Wade sexually assaulted them between 2011 and 2013 while he worked at a learning and disabilities centre run by ABMU at Rowan House in Cardiff.

An internal report found ABMU did not robustly pursue their complaints, and identified a culture in some areas of basing actions on the "believability of patients".

The health board did however refer the complaints to South Wales Police.

No charges were brought, despite the third complaint being referred to the Crown Prosecution Service.

'Disturbing case'

Alan Collins, of Hugh James solicitors, who is representing the patient, said: "The system failed her. It failed her in every way.

"It failed her in hospital and it failed her afterwards and she should not have had to have waited all this length of time to understand what actually happened with Wade.

"I think it's a disturbing case that would rightly shock all of us.

"I think South Wales Police also need to review what happened with the case."

Image source, Google
Image caption,
Mrs James was found dead in her flat in Cardiff Bay on 2 March 2016

Wade was placed on special leave by ABMU in October 2012 and later suspended.

He was dismissed in April 2016, after being arrested for the murder of Mrs James, 65, in Cardiff Bay. He was jailed for life in September 2016.

Opposition politicians and the British Medical Association called for an independent inquiry, saying it was wrong that ABMU investigated its own handling of the matter.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething has now asked the watchdog Healthcare Inspectorate Wales to look into the case and First Minister Carwyn Jones said he expected them to "gain as much evidence as broadly possible in order for their findings to be as robust as possible".

'Promote voices'

ABMU apologised to the three women for the distress already caused by the case, adding it was "working to progress this claim as quickly as possible".

It said its serious incident investigation team, which carried out the review, did not consider that any of the issues it identified could have either predicted or prevented Wade's behaviour outside of his job.

"Our review did conclude that there were a number of issues relating to health board processes and responses to the allegations that needed to be improved," a spokesman said.

"Our review also clearly highlights the fact that more needs to be done to promote the voices and the rights of individuals, irrespective of any disabilities they may have.

"We are using the report as a case study example for learning and discussion amongst our staff."

South Wales Police said it had investigated the complaints of sexual assault at the time.

"In each case no further action could be taken following advice from the Crown Prosecution Service," a spokesman added.