NAS vows to learn from escape of patient who raped girl

The National Autistic Society has vowed to act on the findings of an independent review into the escape of a patient from one of its hospitals, who then went on to rape a 14-year-old girl.

Darren Harkin, 21, was detained in Broadmoor high-security hospital indefinitely yesterday, after admitting raping the girl while on the run from the low-secure Hayes hospital, near Bristol.

Hayes is an independent hospital run by the NAS for up to 12 people with an autistic spectrum disorder who are detainable under the Mental Health Act 1983.

National Autistic Society chief executive Mark Lever said: “A full independent external review led by the country’s leading expert in this field is already underway to examine the circumstances around this incident”.

He added: “We have already committed to making the findings of this review publicly available and we will be acting on the report to ensure that nothing like this can happen again.”

Lever also said the NAS “would like to express its deepest sympathy to the girl involved and her family”.

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