Inquest finds probation failures made a significant contribution to Janet Scott’s death

Tue, 23 Feb 2021

On Friday 19th February 2021 the Coroner at the inquest into Janet Scott’s death returned a verdict of unlawful killing with a narrative that found that failures by the probation service made a significant contribution her death.

The inquest was heard over two weeks at Nottingham Coroner’s Court. The focus of the inquest concerned how the risks posed by Simon Mellors, who had previously been convicted of murdering his wife, had been managed by probation whilst he was on life licence. Specifically, it focused on how the probation service had managed his risk of reoffending whilst in a relationship with Janet Scott. The inquest heard evidence that Janet Scott had terminated her relationship with Simon Mellors in January 2018. She was then subject to stalking-type behaviours by Simon Mellors.  Tragically Janet Scott was then killed by Simon Mellors on 29 January 2018. The Coroner found that immediate safeguarding actions had not taken place, and Simon Mellors’ offender manager had insufficient regard to relevant probation service guidance on domestic violence.

The Coroner held that:

“The failings …… collectively resulted in a missed opportunity to properly identify mirroring factors and escalate risk during the critical period. As a consequence of that missed opportunity no effective safeguarding actions to protect Janet were ever considered or initiated. These missed opportunities have, on the balance of probabilities made a significant contribution to Janet’s death

No5's Stuart Withers represented the second family group, consisting of Janet Scott’s children. He was instructed by Debbie Heath at InstaLaw solicitors.

Angela Patrick from Doughty Street Chambers represented the first family group, consisting of Janet Scott’s widower and sister. She was instructed by Matthew Gold Solicitors.

The case was reported by Channel 4 News.

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