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Last Updated: Monday, 19 December 2005, 16:31 GMT
Clarke calls for Monckton inquiry
John Monckton
John Monckton was repeatedly stabbed by Hanson
Home Secretary Charles Clarke has ordered an inquiry into why two convicted criminals were free to kill a London banker in his own home.

Damien Hanson, 24, had been released early from a 12-year term for attempted murder three months before he murdered John Monckton in November 2004.

He was assessed as 90% likely to commit more violence, but the probation service managed him as a low risk case.

His accomplice Elliot White, 24, was on bail at the time on drugs charges.

On Monday, White was cleared of attempting to murder Mr Monckton's wife Homeyra.

But he was found guilty by an Old Bailey jury of wounding her with intent and guilty of the manslaughter of Mr Monckton in Chelsea, west London.

Both men will be sentenced in February.

Mr Clarke said on Monday that serious questions had been raised about the release from prison and supervision in the community of Hanson and White.

Damien Hanson
Hanson had been assessed as likely to commit another violent crime

The head of the probation service, Andrew Bridges, will conduct the inquiry, which may consider whether there are wider implications for the release and management of convicted criminals.

Mr Clarke added: "It is essential that we have in place systems to deal with violent offenders which are as rigorous as possible and minimise the risk to the public that such offenders may pose."

Hanson had a string of serious convictions and had only been out of jail for a total of a few months since the age of 14.

White, who had a series of drug convictions, was on bail at the time of the robbery, awaiting a court appearance on heroin and cocaine charges.

Sadly there is no such thing as 'zero risk'
National Probation Service

In a joint statement, the National Probation Service (NPS), Metropolitan Police and the Prison Service, expressed their sympathy to Mrs Monckton, her family and "all those affected by this horrific offence".

The statement said London Probation had reviewed the way it handled cases and was overhauling the way it manages offenders in the community.

The statement read: "The NPS takes its responsibilities to the public very seriously and works in close partnership with all the other key criminal justice agencies.

"Sadly there is no such thing as 'zero risk'."

The probation union, Napo, welcomed the inquiry and said any findings that procedures needed to be improved should be acted upon without delay.

A statement was released by Mrs Monckton's solicitor on Monday.

It read: "Last year Mrs Monckton, her daughters and her family lost a husband, a father, a brother and in short lost John Monckton, an exemplary family man who was brutally murdered in his own house - a little under a month before Christmas."

Robber guilty of killing banker
16 Dec 05 |  London

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