Missed chances to save Janet Scott, the former NHS worker murdered by her jealous ex-partner

Janet Scott

A coroner has said "missed opportunities" by the probation service "significantly contributed" to the murder of a mum-of-six.

The inquest into the death of 51-year-old Janet Scott found the probation officer managing her jealous ex-partner Simon Mellors failed to spot vital signs that he was a danger - and had he acted sooner - Mrs Scott might be alive today.

Who were Janet Scott and Simon Mellors?

Janet Scott was a mother of six who was murdered in 2018.

The former NHS worker had a short relationship with a man called Simon Mellors, from Nottingham, in 2017, while she was temporarily separated from her husband, Christopher Scott.

How did Janet Scott die?

Janet Scott and Simon Mellors broke up, but Mellors was unable to accept the end of the relationship. 

Mrs Scott had complained about Mellors' controlling behaviour,

She said Mellors had tattooed her name across his chest and demanded she do the same.

He tried to get a job at the same Lidl supermarket in Arnold, and asked bosses to change his shift pattern so he could work alongside her.

She also complained to his probation officer that he had been following her to work at 4am and even waited outside in the days before her death.

In January 2018 he stabbed the 51-year-old at her home. He then drove her a short distance into the city, where she managed to escape and ran towards a traffic officer for help.

Mellors drove his car into both of them, injuring the traffic officer and killing Mrs Scott instantly.

Credit: BPM

What was Mellors’ criminal record?

Mellors had a violent history and was previously jailed for the murder of his former partner, Pearl Black, who was 36. 

She was strangled and killed in her Bramcote home in May 1999. 

Pearl Black

Mellors was jailed for life the same year but was freed on licence in 2014 after serving a 12-year minimum term for her murder.

Why was he released?

Mellors had been jailed for life with a minimum of 14 years, but this sentence was reduced on appeal in 2008 and he was released in 2014.

A judge ruled Ms Black's murder was the result of 'intense strain, mild to moderate depression, extreme frustration and inebriation'. 

Simon Mellors

What has the MOJ said?

The Ministry of Justice has apologised for what it calls the ‘unacceptable failings’ that allowed a convicted murderer to be free to kill for a second time. 

What has the Probation Service said?

During the inquest, Mellors' probation officer Andrew Victor said one of the reasons he failed to act, despite Mellors increasingly erratic behaviour, was his excessive workload.

He told the Coroner staffing levels were so low that he had too many cases to deal with and he'd reported this to his bosses - but received no support from them.

Sonia Flynn, Chief Probation Officer at the National Probation Service, said officers do a very difficult job, supervising some of the most dangerous individuals.

She said that overwhelmingly it's done do a high standard, but in this case there were clear failures and missed opportunities by an individual officer.

How have the family reacted? 

Amelia Karenstein, Janet Scott's daughter said,

"My mum would more than happily be representative of every single person that's ever been in that situation because it has happened numerous amounts of times and they don't seem to be learning from their mistakes." 

What happened to Mellors?

Simon Mellors was found dead at Strangeways Prison, Manchester in February 2018 after taking his own life. He was 56 years old.

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