Mental health trust fined for placing killer in care home

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THE trust running mental health services in Herts has been ordered to pay fines and costs totalling almost half a million pounds following the fatal stabbing of a care worker.

Herts Partnership NHS Trust was fined £150,000 with £326,346 costs after being found guilty at Luton Crown Court of breaching health and safety rules when it placed a dangerous mental patient at a care home in Dunstable.

Stephen Flatt, then aged 55, killed Kathleen Bainbridge, 58, with a kitchen knife in 2007.

The court was told that Abacus House was not the correct care facility for Flatt. He had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder but staff had no expertise or training for dealing with people with this disorder, or for managing violent or aggressive behaviour.

In 2009 Flatt was ordered to be held in a secure hospital for an indefinite period after being deemed unfit to plead.