Monitored criminals kill 225 people in just four years under private probation reform

The grisly death toll has shot up 60 per cent since 2015 when then-Justice Secretary Chris Grayling privatised the sector.

This is compared to 142 murders over the same period of time by higher risk offenders when probation was still run by the Government, The Mirror reports.

Among the 225 killed by criminals being monitored by private probation contractors was 18-year-old Conner Marshall, who was slaughtered in 2015.

The teenager was on his way to Trecco Bay caravan park in Porthcawl when he was battered to death with a metal pole by David Braddon, who was high on drugs and alcohol.

Braddon, a total stranger, stamped on his face, kicked him in the ribs, stripped him naked and repeatedly hit him while being monitored for drugs offences and assaulting a police officer.

In the nine months before the brutal murder, he had breached his probation by missing eight separate meetings.


Conner's mum Nadine said: “This is what we were raising concerns about four years ago. In the meantime there have been more murders.

"It’s scary to think the Ministry of Justice was aware of these facts and have not dealt with it. We were told Conner’s case was an isolated incident. That’s not the case.”

Another victim, Nicholas Churton, 67, was killed in Wrexham in 2017 by Jordan Davidson, who was on licence at the time of the murder for a string of offences.

The pensioner, described as "physically frail and disabled", was found dead with major head injuries after being attacked with a hammer and machete.

We were told Conner’s case was an isolated incident. That’s not the case

Wrexham MP Ian Lucas said the probation changes “contributed to the failure of supervision” that led to the gruesome killing.

On New Year's Day in 2015, Tanis Bhandari was slayed by Donald Pemberton days after the killer had been released by cops for brandishing meat cleavers in the street.

Pemberton was on license having recently been released from prison – meaning he easily could have been kept in custody.

MP Liz Saville Roberts said: “There is an urgent need to bring probation back into the public sector.”


Disastrous reforms introduced by Mr Grayling forced the government to bail out failing private probation companies by more than half a billion pounds.

The probation service was split by the minister in 2014 and a new government body, the National Probation Service, was created to manage high-risk offenders.

Medium and low-risk offenders were supervised by 21 regional Community Rehabilitation Companies – outsourced to eight private providers.


One of these, Working Links, collapsed last week after it was rated “inadequate” by chief inspector of probation Dame Glenys Stacey.

A previous damning report by HM Inspectorate of Probation found private companies were failing to enforce sentences handed by courts – leading to criminals committing more crime or disappearing.

The new justice secretary, David Gauke, has now announced that eight private firms that run the 21 companies in England and Wales are to have their contracts terminated in 2020 – two years earlier than agreed.

They will be replaced with ten new ones costing taxpayers £170million.

The Ministry of Justice said: “Serious further offences are rare, with fewer than 0.5 per cent of offenders under statutory supervision convicted – but each one is taken extremely seriously and investigated fully.

"Our probation reforms mean we’re now monitoring around 40,000 offenders who would previously have been released with no supervision, which is a positive change for public safety.”

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