A coroner has been criticised for refusing to hold a “full and fearless” inquest into murder of autistic man killed by a dangerous criminal just out of prison on licence.
The family of Christopher Laskaris said that the failures of the local authorities including the police had “only deepened our distress”.
The 24-year-old was stabbed to death in his home in Leeds in November 2016 by Philip Craig, a drug dealer with a history of violent offences who had been released from prison just two months earlier.
His mother Fiona Laskaris told the two day hearing at Wakefield Coroner’s Court that her son would “never have met his killer” if police had not broken down his door to check on him during a mental health episode five days before his death.
The family say that officers failed to make sure the flat was properly secure.
Ms Laskaris and her daughter Cara have since campaigned for answers about why he was not properly diagnosed or given more support in the community, where he was left open to “abuse and exploitation”.
They had called for a full inquest to be heard with a jury but their requests were refused by West Yorkshire area coroner Jonathan Leach.
He ruled that the questions over whether the police and the company monitoring Craig’s licence had left Mr Laskaris at risk were issues beyond the scope of the hearing.
In a statement read by barrister Jake Richards after the case concluded, the family said: “We have no answers as to why the police didn’t ensure Christopher’s door was appropriately secure.
“All we want are answers so Christopher’s death is not in vain and his legacy can be the protection of other vulnerable individuals.
“This allowed a drug-taking killer to simply wander into his property.”
The statement added: “The failure of the coroner, the police, local services and the national government, including the Care Minister, to undertake a full and fearless investigation into Christopher’s death has only deepened our distress.”
Craig was jailed for life for Mr Laskaris’s murder in May 2017 and told he must serve a minimum of 25 years.
He had been released from prison on licence in February 2016. He was recalled to prison three months later after he was charged in relation to allegations of domestic violence but was released again in September 2016 when the charges were dropped.
In November 2016 he then stabbed Mr Laskaris to death, before returning to steal from his flat days later – and even rifled through his pockets as he lay dead on the floor.
Recording a verdict of unlawful killing, Mr Leach ruled that, to the knowledge of the private probation provider, Craig had not done anything that justified his further recall to prison.
West Yorkshire police said in a statement that they “stayed at the property until it was secured”.