‘Missed opportunit­ies’ to pro­tect mur­dered woman

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY HOLLY LEN­NON

AN in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the death of a vul­ner­a­ble woman has con­cluded there were “missed opportunit­ies” to stop her be­ing abused be­fore her mur­der.

Sharon Greenop, 46, was found dead at her home in Troon, South Ayr­shire in Novem­ber 2016, mur­dered by her sis­ter Lynette Greenop.

A Sig­nif­i­cant Case Re­view said no one could have fore­seen her death but it iden­ti­fied a se­ries of fail­ings in the care pro­vided by South Ayr­shire Health and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship.

Sharon’s sis­ter, Lynette Greenop, was con­victed of her mur­der and sen­tenced to life im­pris­on­ment for her crime in May 2018.

Prior to her death, Sharon received a community care pack­age from so­cial work ser­vices within the South Ayr­shire Health and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship.

The pur­pose of the Sig­nif­i­cant Case Re­view was to con­sider so­cial work’s in­volve­ment with Sharon and iden­tify whether there were les­sons to be learned about how bet­ter to pro­tect adults at risk.

The re­view was led by in­de­pen­dent re­view chair and ex­tremely ex­pe­ri­enced se­nior so­cial worker, David Craw­ford, with the re­view team com­pris­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives from South Ayr­shire Coun­cil, NHS Ayr­shire & Arran and Po­lice Scot­land.

The re­view found that re­spon­si­bil­ity for Sharon’s death lies with the per­son con­victed of her mur­der – her sis­ter, Lynette – and that no one could have fore­seen her vi­o­lent death.

How­ever, it also iden­ti­fied a number of is­sues for the South Ayr­shire Health and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship in­clud­ing the de­ci­sion to al­low Sharon’s care pack­age to be closed, de­scrib­ing it as flawed and al­lowed the cir­cum­stances to de­velop that ul­ti­mately led to her death.

The Part­ner­ship missed opportunit­ies to raise adult pro­tec­tion con­cerns re­gard­ing Sharon’s well­be­ing, which could have re­sulted in in­ter­ven­tions that could have stopped Sharon be­ing abused.

Sharon’s community care pack­age was one of hun­dreds that hadn’t been re­viewed by the Part­ner­ship in a number of years de­spite a statu­tory obli­ga­tion and a cor­po­rate pol­icy to un­der­take an­nual re­views.

The duty system – the ini­tial re­sponse for so­cial work re­fer­rals – was found to be not fit for pur­pose and pre­vi­ously iden­ti­fied fail­ings had not been suf­fi­ciently ad­dressed.

Record-keep­ing was de­scribed as ‘ex­tremely poor’ and ham­pered by out­dated in­for­ma­tion sys­tems, mean­ing there was in­suf­fi­cient in­for­ma­tion about Sharon’s care and well­be­ing and it was dif­fi­cult to man­age her case ef­fec­tively.

The re­port con­cludes that there are un­doubt­edly les­sons to be learned from Sharon’s death

Sharon’s sis­ter, Diane Hogg, said she has ques­tioned the con­ti­nu­ity of the care and the system since the bru­tal mur­der.

She added: “It’s been two and a half years since the bru­tal mur­der of my sis­ter Sharon Greenop at the hands of her younger sib­ling Lynette, a year since the trial and con­vic­tion of her mur­derer.

“I ques­tioned the con­ti­nu­ity of care and the system which should have pro­tected Sharon. As the re­view was pro­gress­ing and ur­gent rec­om­men­da­tions were be­ing ad­min­is­tered, I knew that other ar­eas would take time to change.

“So, with hind­sight maybe un­der­stand­ing and in­sight, look­ing at the past mis­takes it could pre­vent another family from un­der­go­ing the same trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ence. Hope­fully these les­sons can and will be learned.

“Although I have an­swers it still leaves an un­de­ni­able feel­ing within my­self that just maybe my sis­ter would still be alive if pro­to­cols and poli­cies had been fol­lowed.”

Tim El­tring­ham, Di­rec­tor of the South Ayr­shire Health and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship, said: “We take our re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to pro­tect vul­ner­a­ble adults from harm very se­ri­ously. And while we know it won’t bring Sharon back, we are deeply sorry that we failed Sharon and her family and I have de­liv­ered that apol­ogy in per­son to her sis­ter, Diane Hogg.

“We fully ac­cept the find­ings of the re­view and recog­nise where we fell down in de­liv­er­ing the stan­dard and qual­ity of ser­vice that Sharon needed and de­served. We’re do­ing ev­ery­thing in our power to en­sure this can­not hap­pen again and we’ve made a lot of progress in im­prov­ing how we work.”

Sis­ter Lynette with Sharon Greenop

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