On the 28th February 1986, Collette Gallacher was just six years old when she was murdered on her way to school. Adam Stein, now 61, was convicted of the sexually motivated killing of Collette when her body was found five days later in his attic.
He was recently released from prison, on licence, after serving 35 years.
On hearing of Stein’s Parole Board application Collette’s sisters, Lauren and Claire Holmes successfully gained assistance of Robert Buckland, the Secretary of State for Justice. The result, Stein is now living in England under the most stringent supervision.
Disturbingly, Stein was first released by the Parole Board in 2016 with very little supervision. It soon became clear that those monitoring him paid little regard that he was living under an assumed name, within a small community close to a primary school and had become involved in an abusive relationship with a vulnerable 18-year-old.
Subsequently, Lauren and Claire have been contacted by several women who claim Stein abused them in their childhood. These allegations have not been put to Stein.
One victim, Stacey (an alias) details how she was groomed by Stein “He had me brainwashed into thinking I loved him,” Stacey says. “Somehow, he wore me down and made me think it was what I wanted. When I stayed at his place, he sometimes persuaded me to take sleeping pills. On a few occasions, I woke up in bed with no recollection of leaving his living room.”
Lauren Holmes questions why those supervising Stein did not act upon a 58 year old dating a 18 year old.
Stein, then aged 26, was convicted of murder and a charge of rape was left on file. Surprisingly, Stein’s name was not included on the Sex offenders register as that only commenced in 1997. Post 1997, sex offenders on the national register would have enhanced levels of supervision upon release from prison.
The sisters are campaigning to have all sex offenders added to the register, regardless of the date of their conviction. The closing of this legal loophole is fast gathering support, amongst those backing the change are two former Labour home secretaries, David Blunkett and Jacqui Smith.
Fifteen years were added to Stein’s original 20-year sentence because of his poor behaviour. In May 2018, a report for the Parole Board by a prison psychologist, following Stein’s recall to prison, said he still demonstrated “identifiable risk factors”, including, “engaging in risky behaviour; inappropriate sexual fantasies … secrecy and a lack of openness”.
This view was reversed in January 2021 when the Parole Board decided that Stein should be released because he now has “skills to deal with situations differently”. Conditions include that he must live in a hostel, be under curfew and be subject to monitoring including electronic tagging.
Following the sister consulting with Robert Buckland, he has intervened and had several additional conditions placed on Stein. He is now on the highest level of multi-agency public protection arrangements. This means, for instance, that his murder conviction and rape on file could be disclosed to anyone considered relevant, including “an employer, landlord or a local school”. An interim sexual harm prevention order has also been placed on Stein. This is granted when a court is satisfied that an individual, with or without a conviction, “presents a risk of sexual harm to the public”.
A government spokesman confirmed: “Stein will be on licence for life and subject to conditions far stricter than the notification requirements for registered sex offenders. We have some of the toughest powers in the world to deal with heinous sex offenders but we will go further to protect communities and vulnerable people.”
As highlighted within a Probation Serious Further Offence Review published in 2020, the HM Chief Inspector of Probation, Justin Russell, accepted that the public is entitled to expect that the authorities will do their job properly when supervising an offender in the community.
The independent inquiry was launched due to the Joseph McCann case, who was jailed in 2019 following a conviction of a string of sex attacks on 11 women and children across England. Farleys Solicitors are representing various victims of Joseph McCann in legal action against the Ministry of Justice for negligence, breach of duty and breach of the Human Rights Act. This is a complex area of work with conflicting authorities in relation to the extent of the duty of care owed by the Probation Service to members of the public, such as the victims of McCann.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a violent or sexual assault you may be entitled to make a claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA is a government funded body for the victims of blameless crimes.
Here at Farleys Solicitors we have represented hundreds of survivors who have been subjected to horrific sexual assaults and exploitation. For these survivors we realise there is unfortunately no getting away from the horrendous assaults they endured. However, pursuing a claim often helps our clients to bring closure to their ordeal, to provide the resources to fund medical treatments and therapy they may require. Payments are calculated and awarded by reference to a tariff of injuries, which can compensate for sexual and physical abuse but also mental injury following a crime of violence.
Our dedicated team tirelessly supports victims throughout the process, treating every case with the sensitivity, confidentiality and integrity it deserves. Contact us today on 0845 287 0939, submit your enquiry online or use the chat button at the bottom of this page to speak to our expert team.