Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price has called for an urgent review into whether Welsh Government Ministers or officials were aware of an increased risk to the public in south Wales at the time of Conner Marshall’s death.
Working Links was the privately-run rehabilitation company responsible for supervising David Braddon when he murdered 18 year old Conner Marshall from Barry in 2015.
As part of its functions Working Links had a duty to report to the Integrated Offender Management Wales Scheme which in turn reported to the All Wales Criminal Justice Board – which included Welsh Government representation.
Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price questioned whether any Welsh Government ministers or officials ever became aware of concerns regarding the working practices of Working Links and if any action had been taken.
Last week the coroner concluded that the management and supervision of the probation worker responsible for David Braddon was “woefully inadequate”.
The Plaid Cymru Leader said that “no lessons had been learnt” after the death of Connor and that probation officers were still working “under extreme pressures”.
The Inspectorate of Probation report in July last year reported that 60% of reporting officers thought that their workload was unmanageable.
Mr Price added that one of the “best ways” to honour Conner’s memory was to ensure that the criminal justice system was devolved to Wales.
Welcoming Mr Price’s questions, the mother of Conner Marshall, Nadine Marshall said that “no lessons had been learnt” and there had been “no robust changes” to the management system.
Ms Marshall added that she fully supported the devolution of justice to Wales and reiterated her commitment to continue being “a voice for Conner” - ensuring that “no other family is ignored or left unsupported”.
Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price said,
“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.
The mother of Conner Marshall, Nadine Marshall, said,
“As a family we welcome the questions raised today and fully support the devolution of justice.
“For almost five years we have demanded answers and changes to probation services in Wales”
“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”