Wrexham’s MP has met justice minister Rory Stewart to discuss the significant failings which led to the brutal murder of one of his constituents.
Mr Lucas, MP for Wrexham, took his concerns about the death of former Rossett wine bar owner Nicholas Churton to the Ministry of Justice on Wednesday, December 12.
Mr Churton was murdered in his Wrexham home in March 2017 in a machete attack carried out by Jordan Davidson. Days before he committed the crime, Davidson – who was on licence from prison – was arrested for possession of an offensive weapon but was released on police bail rather than being sent back to jail. He then went on a crime spree which included the murder of Mr Churton.
Mr Lucas feels Mr Churton was failed by the system and wants to know why a criminal as dangerous as Davidson was freed when he was already known to North Wales Police and the probation service.
More than 18 months on from when the crime was committed, Mr Lucas is still searching for answers.
During Wednesday’s meeting, Mr Stewart accepted there had been ‘deficiencies’ in how the Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) – the private firm which manages offenders – had handled Davidson.
He promised that improvements had been made to the system since Mr Churton’s death, and that changes had been made to how information is shared between the police and the probation services.
The case has already been the subject of an internal review by Wales CRC and there have been two investigations carried out by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) – the second of which is looking into the police’s contact with Davidson after he was released from prison and is yet to conclude.
Mr Lucas felt his meeting with Mr Stewart was worthwhile and is now awaiting the outcome of the second IOPC investigation.
“It was important to meet the minister face-to-face and he conceded that there had been serious failings relating to this case,” said Mr Lucas.
“That, of course, is no comfort to the family of Mr Churton but at least action has been taken to ensure such errors do not occur again.
“I felt I needed to get such reassurances, both for Mr Churton’s family and also for my Wrexham constituents who were shocked by this appalling murder.
“I await the second IOPC investigation and hope it will give Mr Churton’s family the answers they have been looking for and, perhaps, some closure. If not, then I shall be calling for a public inquiry looking at the roles of both the police and probation services in this tragic case.”
Mr Lucas led a Westminster Hall debate on the case in June when the Home Office admitted there had been ‘significant failings’ in how the prison and probation system had handled Davidson.
Davidson was found guilty of murdering Mr Churton and is currently serving a minimum of 30 years in jail.
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