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Why was my son's killer released without me being told?

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: December 24, 2013

  • Stuart Graham.

  • Peter Walsh.

Comments (1)

THE mother of a man who died after a stabbing incident in Penzance three years ago says she is disgusted that not only is his killer out walking the streets of Penzance but also that she was not informed of his release from prison.

Stuart Graham, aged 40 at the time and living in Penzance, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Peter Walsh at Truro Crown Court in July 2011.

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Mr Walsh was stabbed four times in the chest with a 20cm kitchen knife by Graham during an incident involving residents at a 'halfway house' in Penare Road, Penzance in November 2010.

Graham, who had been drinking heavily on the day, was jailed for six years. His plea of guilty to the charge of manslaughter on the grounds of an overreaction in self-defence, but not guilty to murder, was accepted on the day his trial was due to start.

However Sue Walsh, Mr Walsh's mother believes the "system" has let her down.

"He has done less than three years in jail," she said.

"Some people will say he has done his time but I don't think so – the time he's spent inside isn't much to pay for a life."

Mrs Walsh said Graham has been seen walking around the streets of Penzance on a number of occasions in the past couple of weeks and it makes her "fuming mad" to think of him walking free.

"My son had his problems but he had a good heart and was changing his life around – he didn't ask for that. He didn't cause any trouble, he was trying to stop it.

"What's made it even worse is that the Probation Service haven't even bothered to inform me that he (Graham) is out – no one's been in touch and I've been told that I should have been informed.

"With him being released just three years after he was killed, I believe the system has let me down."

Mrs Walsh says her son, the oldest of four children, is never far from her thoughts and she is a regular visitor to his grave at Penzance cemetery.

"It's especially bad at this time of year – his body was released from the coroner the day before Christmas Eve," she added.

"This hasn't finished for me – I think of him all the time."

The Cornishman asked the Ministry of Justice to explain why Mrs Walsh was not told about Graham's release.

No comment had been made at the time of going to press.

However, on the website for the Devon and Cornwall Probation Trust, it says: "Victims in Devon and Cornwall, or their relatives, are contacted by a Probation Victim Liaison Officer.

"The aim is to establish a point of contact for victims and to provide information about what happens to prisoners whilst they are serving their prison sentence.

"The Victim Liaison Officers will provide information about applications for early release, and release dates. They will also ask victims for their views on what restrictions will help them to feel safe after the prisoner's release."

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  • Lafrowda  |  December 31 2013, 12:00AM

    Was an answer forthcoming ?

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