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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 November, 2003, 11:51 GMT
Inquiry into triple killer's care
Anthony Hardy
Anthony Hardy was released from a psychiatric hospital last year
An investigation has begun into why a sex killer was released from a psychiatric hospital a month before he went on to murder his last two victims.

The BBC has learned police were not consulted about the decision to allow Anthony Hardy back into the community.

Health officials knew he had come under suspicion over the death of a woman whose body had been found in his flat.

Hardy, 53, started a life sentence on Tuesday, after pleading guilty to murdering the three women in London.

He was first arrested for the murder of Sally White, 31, whose naked body was found at his Camden flat in January 2002 by police investigating a dispute with a neighbour.

He was released when a postmortem examination found she had died from a heart attack.

But he spent time in St Luke's Hospital in Muswell Hill, north London, in relation to the dispute with his neighbour and was released in November.

Independent review

A month later he murdered Bridgette MacClennan, 34, and Elizabeth Valad, 29, whose dismembered remains were found in a bin near his home.

All three women were believed to be crack addicts who financed their habit through prostitution.

Elizabeth Valad
Elizabeth Valad's torso was found at Hardy's flat
The Camden and Islington Mental Health and Social Care Trust has ordered an independent review of its treatment of Hardy, who had a long history of mental health problems.

It will not comment on reports that experts disagreed on whether he was a risk to women and whether he should have been allowed to leave hospital.

But Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity SANE, questioned the decision to release Hardy because he was judged not to pose a risk.

She said: "We are increasingly concerned at the way in which not only families, but others involved in the care of a person discharged from hospital are given partial or no information. "

Hardy's case would normally have been considered by a panel of police and probation staff.

But they were apparently not given the opportunity of commenting and deciding, for example, whether he should be kept under surveillance.

Hardy has so far told the police nothing.

But detectives will re-interview him in prison to try to find out more about the killings.

Police have also revealed that Hardy had been investigated for three rapes, but there was insufficient evidence to bring a case against him.

Man given life for triple murder
25 Nov 03  |  London
Body parts victim named
04 Jan 03  |  England
Troubled life of murder victim
04 Jan 03  |  England

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