Man admits manslaughter of social care worker Philip Ellison

A man has admitted killing Philip Ellison, the Lancashire Council social care worker stabbed to death during a visit to a supported housing project.

Robert Searle, 52, was detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act after pleading guilty to manslaughter at Preston Crown Court today.

The Recorder of Preston, Anthony Russell, ordered the detention of Searle at Ashworth Hospital, a high-security institution in Merseyside.

Ellison, a married father of three, was 47 when he was attacked at the supported living scheme in Glebe Road, Preston, in April 2008.

Internal review

An internal review into the incident by council officers and Lancashire Care Foundation Trust is expected to be published after Searle is sentenced.

Anne Brown, cabinet member for adult and community services at Lancashire Council, said today: “The death of Philip in April last year was an extremely sad and tragic incident that has deeply shocked the county council, the local community and the social care sector immeasurably. 

Respected member of staff

 “Although the incident happened almost a year ago we, as an organisation, are still trying to come to terms with the loss of Philip who was a professional social care worker, a valued and respected member of staff and dedicated wholeheartedly to supporting people.

“On behalf of the county council, I would like to offer our sympathy to Philip’s wife and sons who have lost a loving husband and father, and to his friends and colleagues – our thoughts are with them, particularly at this very difficult time.”

This week, it emerged that Sunderland charity Mental Health Matters, will be prosecuted under health and safety laws over the death of Ashleigh Ewing. The 22-year-old care worker was stabbed to death in 2006 while visiting a client with mental health problems.

Searle was originally charged with murder, but the prosecution accepted a plea of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Related articles 

Independent probe to investigate fatal stabbing of community support worker

Man charged over death of Lancashire community support worker


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