Inquiry into killer’s release from unit

Anthony Hardy, who murdered three prostitutes last year, was
released from a psychiatric unit in north London less than two
months before he murdered two of his victims.

It is believed that the mental health act review panel that
examined his case did not have access to reports suggesting he was
at risk of violent behaviour. The North Central London Strategic
Health Authority has commissioned an independent review.

Internal reviews have been carried out by some of the agencies he
was in contact with including the Camden and Islington Mental
Health and Social Care Trust, Camden Council and the police.

In March 2002, Hardy had pleaded guilty to criminal damage and was
sectioned under the Mental Health Act 1983. He was released from St
Luke’s hospital in Muswell Hill in early November, but in December
killed Elizabeth Valad and Bridgette MacClennan. He was arrested in
January following the discovery of body parts in bin bags at the
back of a pub in north London. He was sentenced to life last month
for the murders.

Mental health charity Sane said the case threw a “disturbing
question mark” over how patients were discharged into the

The charity’s analysis of 69 inquiries into homicides committed by
people in contact with mental health services found that in 90 per
cent of cases there had been a breakdown in communications between
agencies and that records were either not kept or not passed onto
those responsible for their continuing care.

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