Preston murder: discussions ongoing about a potential Domestic Homicide Review into Steven May's case

Lancashire County Council says it will assist a city home care firm to review if 'lessons can be learned' from the murder of a vulnerable man in his own home.

Thursday, 27th February 2020, 5:00 pm

It comes as the authorities discuss whether or not to conduct a domestic homicide review into the case of Steven May, 50, who was physically and financially abused, then killed by Darren Taylor, 45, who had moved into his home 12 weeks earlier.

In December 2018 a care package had been agreed between the firm - Complete Care - Lancashire Social Services and Steven May’s family for carers to visit Steven six days a week to support him with his personal care, hygiene, medication and meal preparation.

It is understood Complete Care was funded by social services to provide care 20 minutes a day, six days a week for Mr May.

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Steven May

When he died in May 2019, he was found to have suffered 76 rib fractures and various bruises and abrasions in the last 12 weeks of his life at the hands of Darren Taylor.

Preston Crown Court was previously told one care support worker saw Steven had sustained a swollen sore ear but did not tell her how he sustained this injury, while another was aware that Darren Taylor had moved into the property.

It is not clear if these observations were acted upon.

Complete Care Preston did not provide a comment when contacted by the Post on Thursday.

Steven's grieving daughter, Natalya May, says the family is planning to make a complaint to the care company.

She claims after his death, relatives found several boxes of untouched medication that they believed the carers were supposed to administer to him.

His sister Sharon May added: " We have raised concerns amongst ourselves and asked questions as to why his carers never noticed anything.

"We put a care package in place for them to look after Steven as we couldn't be there all the time and presumed that's what they were doing. As they went in every day we can't understand how they never picked up on anything or raised any concerns to us.

"We can't now change what has happened with Steven, but how many other vulnerable people out there that rely on the system and these 'carers' who don't get the attention that's needed.

"I'm not for one minute saying they could've stopped what happened but if they had been more attentive, they may have been more aware of the changes that were going on."

Louise Taylor, Lancashire County Council's executive director for adult services, health and wellbeing, said: "We're sorry to hear about this terrible tragedy and our thoughts are with Mr May's family at this difficult time.

"We will support the care provider to review what lessons can be learned."

Preston's Community Safety Partnership added: "The guilty verdict in relation to the perpetrator in this case was reached earlier this week and as a Community Safety Partnership we will consider whether a Domestic Homicide Review is required in accordance with Home Office guidance. A formal decision will be taken having considered facts relating to the circumstances of the case.

"When there is a decision made to conduct a review, an Independent Chair and a review panel is appointed to oversee this and they will agree the information to be released to the news media. There is considerable sensitivity required and the family and friends of the deceased are notified of the decision before any information is provided outside to the Community Safety Partnership."