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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 July, 2004, 13:26 GMT 14:26 UK
Death could have been prevented
Flats on Lipson Road
Both men lived in flats in the same building
The killing of a Plymouth postal worker by a psychiatric patient may have been prevented if health workers had done more to help him, an inquiry has found.

The independent inquiry was looking into how John Peters killed 60-year-old Roy Warnes in May 2002.

John Peters has since been convicted of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Mr Warnes' daughter, Susan Bellamy, told the BBC lessons must be learned to prevent such incidents happening again.

No one went out to see him and no one called him in
Susan Bellamy

John Peters, who was 33 at the time, was under the care of the mental health services in Plymouth, but living in the community when he attacked and killed Roy Warnes who was living in a flat in the same building in Lipson Road.

Mrs Bellamy said Peters had prompted a number of complaints from neighbours.

She said: "He was ranting and raving at people going past, banging on doors and lighting fires in the flat.

"Nothing was done. No one went out to see him and no one called him in."

An internal investigation by the Plymouth Primary Care Trust concluded his care had not been adequate or appropriate and that he had, in fact, had no care, treatment or supervision from the mental health services for a year before he killed Mr Warnes.

It said there were systems, communication and individual failures.

Roy Warnes
Roy Warnes died after being attacked by
The independent inquiry commissioned by the South West Peninsula Strategic Health Authority to investigate the incident said in a report published on Thursday the killing could not have been predicted.

But it said it could have been prevented if the professionals responsible for his care had taken more assertive action.

The panel identified a number of shortcomings in John Peters' care and made 23 recommendations, most of them directed to Plymouth Primary Care Trust.

The Trust said it had already put into place recommendations from the internal inquiry and would continue to learn lessons.

Ann James of the Trust said: "A number of individuals are no longer working in that team. We've change the management arrangements for that team.

"We now have much clearer policies and guidelines about how to work with individuals who are quite difficult to engage in some of our mental health services."

Police investigated after death
07 Jul 04  |  Devon

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