Double murderer was housed near elderly in Worksop despite police warning

Police cordon outside the home of Pauline Quinn, pictured after her death in November 2021.
-Credit: (Image: Nottinghamshire Police)

The decision to house a convicted double murderer near elderly people in Worksop was made despite warnings from police, a new review into the case has found. Pauline Quinn, 73, was beaten to death at her home in Rayton Spur on November 9, 2021, by Lawrence Bierton.

Bierton was jailed for life in 1996 for killing two sisters, 79-year-old Aileen Dudill and 73-year-old Elsie Gregory. Released from prison in May 2020, Bierton moved to Rayton Spur six months later.

The killer was given a whole life order for Mrs Quinn's murder at Nottingham Crown Court in December, the first issued by the court since 2005. The probation service said at the time that it had recently completed a serious case review into the matter.

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Nottinghamshire Live has now seen a summary of that review provided by Edward Argar, the minister responsible for prisons and probation. Mr Argar says in a new letter that the review found police had warned the probation service about the risks of Bierton being placed near elderly people.

Despite this, a senior probation officer approved the housing in Rayton Spur. Mr Argar's letter says that officer has since received a formal warning.

The review found that the probation service should have pursued other options. A second review was carried out into the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) in place.

Pauline Quinn
Pauline Quinn -Credit:Nottinghamshire Police

That review found that there was no formal agreement between the various public agencies on how the safety of those in Rayton Spur would be monitored and managed. This meant that although the local authority received concerns from neighbours about anti-social behaviour, the local authority were not mentioned in the MAPPA safety plan.

The probation service said in court that it was a "significant mistake" for Bierton to be allowed to stay at Rayton Spur and that there was now "greater scrutiny" of accommodation decisions. Laws have also been strengthened to make it easier for public agencies to share information with each other, such as information about someone's past offending.

Mr Argar's letter concludes: "While I appreciate that nothing will ease the pain suffered by Mrs Quinn's family, for the failings by the probation service for which it quite rightly fully apologises, I hope the explanation which I have given of the actions taken to remedy the probation service's failings provides a level of reassurance... Once again, I would like to express my condolences to Mrs Quinn's family."

Lawrence Bierton, 61, of Rayton Spur, Worksop, pleaded guilty at Nottingham Crown Court
Lawrence Bierton, 61, of Rayton Spur, Worksop, pleaded guilty at Nottingham Crown Court -Credit:Nottinghamshire Police

Brendan Clarke-Smith, the Conservative MP for Bassetlaw at the time of Mrs Quinn's death and standing again in the area in the upcoming election, said: "After a long battle and a drawn-out legal process, my constituents and the family members of Pauline Quinn have finally been given the answers they deserve. Following the serious case review, it is clear there were catastrophic mistakes made by the probation service.

"In particular this relates to its dealing with the local authority and the decision to house Bierton at Rayton Spur, an area with elderly and vulnerable residents, despite police raising concerns and objecting at the time... This must never be allowed to happen again and those responsible must explain to residents what they are going to do to guarantee their safety in the future."