Agencies slammed over teenage killer

Police and social services mishandled the case of a 17-year-old boy with a history of sexual deviance who went on to murder a teenager, a review has said.

Colyn Evans was sentenced to life imprisonment in June after admitting murdering Karen Dewar in Tayport, Fife, in January.

The Social Work Inspection Agency and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary review concluded the murder “could not have reasonably been predicted”.

But they pointed to a number of failings in the way Fife Council and police dealt with Evans – who had been accused of 14 sexual offences – before he committed the crime.

The inspectorates criticised a previous internal review of the case for not explaining why police had failed to carry out two risk assessments after his release from residential care in April 2004.

They also said it had failed to explain why key data about his behaviour had not been recorded on the police’s sex offenders database and why more information was not included from the children’s reporter.

The report said Evans needed help from his care placement at Geilsland School but it was not forthcoming. And it questioned a children’s panel’s decision to release him back into his parents’ care.

In a joint statement, Fife Council’s chief executive, Douglas Sinclair, and Fife Constabulary’s chief constable, Peter Wilson, said: “It is essential that we learn from our mistakes and take every step to improve the management of this highly complex area in the future where we possibly can.”

As well as a number of recommendations for both agencies, the report called for the development of a national strategy for meeting the needs of young people with sexually problematic behaviour and greater scrutiny of care placements by councils.

The Scottish executive said it would set up an expert group to look at developing the strategy.

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