According to one report, a KILLER was “cleared to kill three children and his pregnant girlfriend” after “mistakes” by the parole service.
Damien Bendall, 32, was sentenced to life in prison this week for killing his victims with a hammer in Killamarsh, Derbyshire last September.
The horrifying murders came just three months after Bendall was sentenced to probation for arson.
It has now been revealed that a parole officer who reviewed Bendall’s file for the sentencing judge in the arson case has been fired for gross misconduct after misclassifying him as ‘medium risk’ rather than ‘high risk’.
According to parole officers, it’s unlikely that Bendall, who had a history of violence, would have been free to carry out the shocking murders had the prejudice report accurately reflected his risk.
The parole officer in question is believed to have spent a lot of time working from home, meaning other members of the team did not have the usual opportunity to offer advice or read the report, reports The Telegraph.
Bendall’s probation supervision was transferred from Swindon, where the arson took place, to the East Midlands, where another officer was reportedly found guilty of misconduct in assigning the case to a trainee.
The Justice Department has now tasked the Chief Inspector of Probation with a full review of the case.
The report is due to appear in the new year.
According to a September report, around 500 serious crimes are committed by supervised criminals each year.
The agency has also been hit by high-profile scandals, such as Joseph McCann committing a sexual violence rampage under surveillance across the country.
Terrorist Usman Khan was under surveillance when he murdered two people at Fishmongers Hall in London.
Sir Robert Buckland, who was Justice Secretary until three days before the Killamarsh killings, told the newspaper: “I think we have to recognize that a mistake like that is just an appalling failure.
“The Department needs to be as open and transparent as possible about why it happened and most importantly ensure that the risk of this happening again is minimised, if not eliminated.
“Honestly, there should be processes in place that mean various thresholds and tests are met before such a fundamental mistake could be made.”
It is understood that the officer who prepared the prejudice report in Swindon was unable to access all of the background information about Bendall and consequently did not enter all the crucial details into a computer system to calculate his risk.
A probation source told the news outlet: “The risk rating was lower than it should have been. It should have been labeled as “high risk of damage” but was instead classified as “moderate risk”. He was then assigned to a trainee – that wouldn’t have happened if he had been ‘high risk’.”
Bendall was allowed to return to his partner Terri Harris’ home on the condition that he wore an electronic tag and met regularly with the prospective parole officer.
However, it was revealed during his trial that he had used drugs and was fueled by cocaine when he met Terri and her children John Bennett, 13, Lacey Bennett, 11, and Lacey’s friend Connie Gent, also 11, who was there. to death struck an overnight stay.
Bendall then raped Lacey as she lay dying before taking a cab to Sheffield to trade John’s Xbox for more drugs.
Sources revealed the supervisor, who was found guilty of misconduct in the East Midlands, had not read all of the background information on Bendall before assigning his case to a trainee.
The supervisor is understood to have appealed the findings of misconduct as he was responsible for supervising around 30 officers due to staff shortages in the area.
The individual has not lost his job.
A Justice Department spokesman said: “These were appalling crimes and our thoughts are with the families of the victims. The Deputy Prime Minister has asked the Chief Inspector of Probation to review this case and we will respond further once this is made public.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6976221/murderer-damien-bendell-free-kill-probation-service-blunders/ Killamarsh killer released after ‘parole service errors’ for killing 3 children and pregnant girlfriend