The distraught mother of a man killed by a paranoid schizophrenic has vowed to launch an official complaint with the Ministry of Justice - after being wrongly told the double killer had been moved from a high-security hospital.
Dorothy Hardy’s son Simon Richardson, 27 and Ian Lawson, who was just 24, were killed within hours of each other by Sean Crone on Sunderland’s Red House Estate in October 2003.
Crone, who was 26 at the time, was detained in Rampton Hospital for an unlimited period of time after admitting the manslaughter of both men.
But now both families have been forced to suffer fresh heartache after being told that Crone was being considered for a move to a lower security facility at the end of last year.
Then last month, grief-stricken relatives were rocked by the revelation, in another letter from the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), that he had already been moved without their consultation.
As they struggled to come to terms with the devastating news, the families were told the MOJ had made a ‘major blunder’ - and that Crone remains in Rampton and had in fact never been set for a transfer.
Mrs Hardy, from Shotton Colliery, County Durham, says she will lodge a complaint with the Government after having to endure weeks of needless anguish.
The 64-year-old said: “I received a call on Friday from the Ministry of Justice saying there had been a mistake, and he not been moved.
“This has all happened in the space of a month.
“It was a major blunder.
“It is bad enough having to live with what happened every day but this just just brings it right back to the surface.
“I have been beside myself.
“It is absolutely shocking.
“I have had to go back to the doctors to go back on medication because of this.
“I have been in a very bad state.
“And it is all for nothing.”
Mrs Hardy says she is yet to receive a direct apology from the Ministry of Justice over the error.
She added: “I haven’t had an apology from anyone yet.
“Mistakes like this shouldn’t happen.
“We won’t be just leaving it like this.
“We will be complaining to the Ministry of Justice.
“It is not acceptable.”
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “The family members of the victims in this tragic case were incorrectly informed that this offender had been moved to another hospital facility. We apologise for any upset this may have caused and our thoughts remain with them.
“As soon as this error came to light, we immediately made attempts to contact both families. We were able to reach one by telephone and will be writing to both as a matter or urgency to clarify the situation.”