Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Welsh Government questioned over concerns raised about probation service monitoring Conner Marshall's killer

An inquest into Conner's death found the probation service to be ''woefully inadequate.'' Credit: Family photo

Plaid Cymru have called for an urgent review into whether Welsh Government Ministers knew about concerns raised over a probation service charged with supervising the man who murdered Conner Marshall.

Conner Marshall, 18, was beaten to death by David Braddon, who was being supervised in the community after being convicted of assaulting a police officer and drug offences.

An inquest into Conner's death found the probation service to be ''woefully inadequate.''

Working Links was the privately-run rehabilitation company responsible for supervising Braddon when he murdered Conner in 2015.

The company had a duty to report to the Integrated Offender Management Wales Scheme, who in turn reported to the All Wales Criminal Justice Board. The board included representation from the Welsh Government.

Adam Price said ''no lessons had been learnt'' after Conner's death Credit: PA

Speaking during First Minister's Questions on Tuesday, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price questioned whether Welsh Government ministers or officials were aware of concerns regarding the working practices of the company and if any action had been taken.

The Plaid Cymru Leader said that “no lessons had been learnt” after Conner's death and that probation officers were still working “under extreme pressures.”

There are legitimate questions to be asked about whether any Welsh Government ministers or officials became aware of concerns regarding the working practices of Working Links - and if any action was taken. Were they aware of an increased risk to the public in south Wales?

It seems no lessons have been learnt since the death of Connor Marshall. Probation officers are still working under extreme pressures with 60% of reporting officers saying that their workload is unmanageable. This simply cannot continue.

Plaid Cymru have long argued that people should come before profit and had the justice system been a devolved matter we wouldn’t have followed the disastrous changes which the UK Government imposed.

Ultimately, one of the best ways of honouring Conner’s memory will be to ensure that the criminal justice system and powers over police, prisons and probation come home to Wales, where they belong.

– Adam Price AM, Plaid Cymru Leader
Mark Drakeford said the Welsh Government had raised concerns over the privatisation of the probation service

First Minister Mark Drakeford said Welsh Government's concerns over the privatisation of the probation service in Wales have been raised regularly with the UK Government.

He branded probation service reforms as ''wholly misguided.''

In a statement, a Welsh Government spokesperson said:

“This was a truly tragic case, which has highlighted the desperate failings in the UK Government’s experiment with the privatisation of the probation service and show why these key public services should remain in public hands.”

Conner's mother Nadine said ''no lessons have been learnt'' from her son's death Credit: Family photo

Conner's mother Nadine said she ''welcomed the questions raised'' and supports the devolution of justice to Wales.

''For almost five years we have demanded answers and changes to probation services in Wales.'' She said.

''No lessons have been learnt, no robust changes implemented to a management system described by the coroner as wholly inadequate.

''We will continue to be a voice for Conner and ensure no other family is ignored or left unsupported.''