Learning from Experience Database - Serious Case Reviews

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Steven Hoskin (Cornwall)

Steven Hoskin’s body was found on 6 July 2006 at the base of the St Austell railway viaduct. In addition to the catastrophic injuries associated with falling 30 metres, a post-mortem examination found that Steven’s body bore evidence of torture: cigarette burns, neck bruises from the dog collar and leash he had been dragged around in, a lethal dose of paracetamol and alcohol, and footprints on his hands which finally caused him to fall to his death. Steven was a vulnerable adult, whose needs were well known to the local NHS, council adult care services and housing services. Many months before his murder, Steven was “targeted” by one of the perpetrators, Darren Stewart (also a vulnerable adult) who had recognised his vulnerability and ‘moved in’ on him. In the year and a half before Steven’s murder, Darren Stewart made many calls to ambulance service and by January 2006, the ambulance service knew Darren was dangerous and had a “warning marker” against him and so had requested police attendance at all emergency visits. Although Steven was known to have a learning difficulty, the excessive use of emergency services by someone residing.

Professional learning:

  • Awareness and understanding of wider professionals of their role in safeguarding.
  • Clear “thresholds” needed in the NHS and other agencies for safeguarding adult referrals (as there are for children) which, if breached, should always result in contact with the council adult social care services.
  • The importance of safeguarding interventions regarding vulnerable adults who abuse.
  • The importance of timely information sharing in order to identify risk and intervene at an earlier stage.

2007 December Serious Case Review regarding Steven Hoskin (Cornwall)