Michael Stone is the convicted murderer of Lin Russell and her six-year-old daughter, Megan. Now he is fighting to prevent the publication of a report which details widespread failures by the authorities in the months before he killed them. From his point of view he says that the disclosure of the report would be a breach of his privacy.
At a high court hearing in June his lawyers will demand that it should not be published. However, another of Mrs Russell's daughters, Josie, who survived the hammer attack, and her father, Shaun, are pressing for the report to be published. They hope that its publication will help to prevent similar attacks in the future. The report is an independent one drafted by Robert Francis QC. It was drafted six years ago was suppressed from then on due to the series of appeals and a retrial in the case. At the time of the murders there was a lot of confusion about the issue. Stone's sister claimed that he had been let down by mental health services.
AdvertisementBut the Kent health authority claimed that they had done everything possible and that he was bad and not mad. The report has disturbing evidence that the authorities let down Stone and endangered the general public. The report agrees there was failure by all agencies. It also said that Stone was taking cocktails of illicit drugs on top of haloperidol-type depot injections designed to calm him. Mr Justice Collins said that confidential medical details can be disclosed to the public if only to ensure that in the future those whose cooperation is essential will not be deterred from giving that cooperation. In favor of the publication are the Department of Health and the three local authorities that originally commissioned the report, the Kent and Medway strategic health authority, Kent county council and Kent probation board.