Police apology over double murder

A POLICE force has apologised for its handling of a convicted sex offender who tortured and murdered a mother and her daughter.

Former soldier Thomas Smith, now 28, was jailed for life last year for the horrific attacks on Diane Fallon and her 10-year-old daughter Holly in Ayrshire in 2009.

Strathclyde Police said yesterday that they were sorry Smith was able to murder them “while we had responsibility for managing him”.

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“There are undoubtedly things we could and should have done better,” they said in a statement.

The apology came the day the findings of an independent review into the case were made public.

Unemployed Smith lived next door to his victims at the time when he launched his murderous attack. The review found that “more robust” management of Smith could have identified his “increasing risk”.

It also stated that there were “several missed investigative opportunities” which should have resulted in Smith being subjected to greater police scrutiny, possibly resulting in his return to custody.

Strathclyde Police said they had apologised directly to the victims’ relatives.