Thug involved in Liam Taylor death could have been in jail BEFORE murder - parole blunders laid bare
EXCLUSIVE: A THUG who was part of a gang who stabbed a teen to death should have been back behind bars before the murder, a grieving family claims, after a review identified a series of blunders in his monitoring by the Probation Service (PS).
Liam Taylor, known as Fish to friends and family, died after being stabbed and slashed six times with knives including a Rambo knife at a pub in Writtle, near Chelmsford, Essex, in January 2020.
Two of the men jailed for life in August 2021 were being monitored by the PS at the time of the attack due to previous offending and concerns over their membership of the "Get Money" street gang. Ryan Filby, 23, and Daniel Daden, 21, both got a minimum of 21 years in prison after being found guilty, while Louis Colegate, 20, who earlier pleaded guilty, received a minimum sentence of 16-and-a-half years. It was a revenge attack after Filby was beaten earlier in the day, but it emerged in court that Liam (below) and two others who were injured, were not involved. Filby and Daden (shown top right and left respectively in these exclusive images they have posted on social media from behind bars) have been able to post images from prison on social media and mock Liam's family.
Now confidential Serious Further Offence reviews, which revealed a catalogue of errors and questionable decisions in the run up to the murder, have been provided to the Taylor family after Essex News and Investigations' editor Jon Austin intervened. After we asked about what monitoring the pair had been under, the Ministry of Justice revealed the reviews had been carried out and said they could be shared with the family, something that should have automatically happened. Liam's grandmother Julie Taylor, 59, is now an anti knife crime campaigner and was this month named Pride of Britain fundraiser of the year for the East of the Anglia region for her efforts.
Last month she organised an "Angel Walk" from a local church to Chelmsford Cathedral on September 17 to remember victims of violent murders across the country.
After several months the Probation Service finally met with her and shared the reports. She said: "We were never even told about these reviews and it was Jon that told me about them. "Daden had only been out of prison two months when they killed Liam and the review showed he should have been back behind bars before they attacked him, because he repeatedly breached his licence, but he was let off with warnings or errors were made. "His review showed there was one mistake or bad decision after another so he was out on the streets and able to arm himself and attack Liam." Daden was released from jail on November 29 2019 after serving about six months for offences including burglary, theft of motor vehicles, possession of an offensive weapon and throwing cannabis over a prison wall. He was under strict licence conditions which limited him to one mobile phone and banned him from certain areas and from associating with other offenders due to his membership of the gang. Daden began breaching his licence by associating with people he should not within three days of release, but the Probation Service chose not to start the prison recall process three times, even when he was found in possession of an offensive weapon. It was only after he was arrested on suspicion of further burglaries, but police said there was insufficient evidence to charge, that action was taken to recall him on December 17 2019. Yet, a series of blunders by Probation and the court service meant he remained on the streets and was not listed for a breach hearing until after Liam's murder. While the court date was awaited he was found to have two mobile phones and would not divulge the numbers and refused to allow access to his room. A separate review into monitoring of Filby found a number of blunders by the Probation Service and missed opportunities for tougher sentences before the murder. Aged 17, he was given a two-year community order for two counts of possession of a knife and one for affray after he was involved in the stabbing of another 17-year-old boy in October 2016. In September 2018, he was arrested with a 13-inch machete and a bag containing drugs. Judge Patricia Lynch KC gave him "one last chance" when she suspended his two-year prison sentence for two years with a rehabilitation order under PS monitoring. In April 2019 he was warned if he continued to prevent home visits from his probation officer breach action would follow, but it didn't. Enforcement action only started in September 2019 after he failed to attend probation meetings but at a November 2019 hearing, instead of jailing him, the court added just two months to his order. He then failed to attend two community service sessions in December 2019, with no further action. The Probation Service was then supposed to carry out a full risk assessment of Filby for the remainder of his suspended sentence, but this also never happened before the murder. Mrs Taylor added: "When you look at the timeline there were so many opportunities for Daden and Filby to be treated more seriously and they may have been in prison before Liam was killed and unable to harm him but time and time again they were let off and nothing was done and they went on to murder him. A Probation Service Spokeswoman said it does not comment on individual reviews.
She said: "This was an appalling crime and our thoughts remain with Mr Taylor’s family.
“While serious further offences committed by those on probation are rare, we are recruiting thousands more staff to deliver tougher supervision and protect the public.”
"Serious further offences are rare - fewer than 0.5 per cent of offenders go on to commit one - but each one is scrutinised so that probation officers can improve the work they do to reduce the risk of others coming to serious harm."
An Essex Police spokesman said: "The murder of Liam Taylor in January 2020 was a tragedy and we worked incredibly hard to secure the convictions of Ryan Filby, Daniel Daden and Louis Colgate in connection with his death.
Filby and Daden are currently serving a minimum sentence of 21 years in prison while Colgate was sentenced to more than 16 years.
In this case, we have not identified any opportunities where Essex Police could have prevented what took place, but we will of course assess any official findings presented to us which may inform our work going forward."
TIMELINE TO MURDER: *From April 2019 voluntary drug testing never took place for Ryan Filby due to inadequate equipment. He was warned the same month if he continued to resist home visits he would face enforcement action, but it did not happen. *July 2019 Filby was found to have cannabis in his home by police, but charges later dropped. This arrest could have led to earlier enforcement action that did not happen. *September 2019 Enforcement action only followed in respect of missed probation appointments. *November 2019 still no home visits despite Filby living alone, described as a missed opportunity, in his serious further offence report. *13/11/19 Court, which could have jailed Filby, extended the community order by two months for missing sessions. *29/11/19 Daden released but sentence plan which should have been done soon in jail was not done until after his release. On the day of release the probation officer did not scan necessary paperwork onto his casefile. *2/12/19 First opportunity for recall of Daden after police reported to the Probation Service (PS) he was seen in a car with another individual in breach of licence, but no enforcement action, just a warning. *6/12/19 Second opportunity for recall missed after police reported Daden was caught within the exclusion zone trying to evade a train fare when he gave two false names and was found in possession of a kettle cable as a weapon. Essex Police declined to charge him and PS took no action. *7/12/19 Filby misses community services and also on 28/12/19 with no action taken. *9/121/19 Another chance to start recall of Daden after it emerged he did not return to his approved premises the previous night and police revealed he was a suspect in a spate of burglaries. Decision made for final written warning, which was never sent and he got another verbal warning. *17/12/19 PS starts recall after police say insufficient evidence to charge Daden, despite him being identified from CCTV by two Youth Offending Team workers. But, the wrong process of applying to the Ministry of Justice was taken when it should have been sent to magistrates' court due to his age. *21/12/19 Case expedited to magistrates' court. The process to list a hearing should have taken 48 hours, meaning Daden could have been in court in early January, before the murder, but the court service did not look to list it until over a month later. *From 26/12/19 Filby should have been further risk assessed but it never happened. *23/1/20 Court service finally secures a court date of 13/2/20, but because PS omitted to say it needed to be sent to youth court it was wrongly listed in adult court. *31/1/20 Liam Taylor stabbed to death.
LIFESAVING equipment provided by Liam Taylor's grandmother may have prevented a murder after it was used to stem blood loss after a violent attack.
Julie Taylor has become a vocal anti-knife crime campaigner since losing Liam and now raises money for bleed control kits and units that she donates to pubs, bars and other venues across London and East Anglia.
On September 17 130 people joined her on an Angel Walk (pictures below) she led from a local church to Chelmsford Cathedral to raise awareness about her campaign and honour the victims of violent crime across the country.
Equipment from one bleed kit she donated to a bar in Braintree, Essex, (seen being handed over above) was used after a man was seriously injured at about 11.30pm on September 9 outside The Lounge bar in the town which Mrs Taylor donated a bleed control kit to 12 months ago.
She said: "The manager used a pressure bandage from the kit to help stop serious bleeding until the paramedics arrived. It may well have prevented another murder. You don't want them to have to be used because you don't want people getting stabbed, but the fact it was there could have made the difference.
"We replaced the kit there two days later."
Paramedics and Essex Police arrived and a man in his 20s was taken to hospital with critical injuries, but survived the attack.
A man, 53, was later charged with attempted murder, racially aggravated public order and possession of an offensive weapon, in connection with the attack.
He has appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court this month and the case was adjourned until next year.