It's amazing how little publicity a murder can get. Some get the full BBC treatment - others get a couple of lines in a local paper.
If anyone knows anything else about the death in Bilston, Staffs of Irene Norman, or about her killer Donald Edward Benion, I'd be interested. What prompts a 37 year old man to attack his 84-year old neighbour and drown her in the bath ? Sort of thing a disturbed teenager might do. Poor lady.
I can find stuff here :
4th. December 2002
PENSIONER FOUND DROWNED AT HOME
An 84-year-old woman has been found drowned in her home in the Black Country. Officers discovered Irene Norman at her address in Fairway Green, Stowlawn, Bilston, after a neighbour became worried and raised the alarm. A post-mortem into her death revealed she had also suffered facial injuries, said West Midlands Police.
MAN CHARGED WITH KILLING OAP
A man has appeared at Wolverhampton Magistrates' Court charged with the murder of an 84-year-old woman who was found beaten and drowned in her home. Donald Benion was accused of killing Irene Norman at her home in Bilston. The 37-year-old father-of-two spoke only to confirm his personal details. He was remanded in custody and will reappear in court next week.
Various pay-links to Evening Mail stories at this site :
OAP, 84, killed for no reason.(News)
Birmingham Evening Mail (England); Apr 5, 2004; 105 Words ... hospital. Judge Frank Chapman told Donald Benion at Wolverhampton Crown Court: 'You killed ... robust old lady for no reason whatsoever.' Benion, 39, of Fairway Green, Bilston, admitted ... order. Rachel Brand QC, prosecuting, said Benion's mental problems were characterised by ...
A MAN who beat up his 84-year-old neighbour before drowning her in the bath has been told he will ...
OAP bath murder charge.(News)
Birmingham Evening Mail (England); Dec 6, 2002; 67 Words ... an elderly neighbour found drowned in her bath. Donald Edward Benion, 37, was remanded in custody at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court ... November 27. She had suffered facial injuries. Father-of-two Benion, of Fairway Green, Stowlawn, will appear at Wolverhampton Crown ...
Man on bath death charge.(News)
The Birmingham Post (England); Dec 6, 2002; 83 Words ... elderly neighbour who was found drowned in her bath. Donald Edward Benion (37) was remanded in custody at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court ... at her home in the Stowlawn area of the city on November 27. Benion, of Fairway Green, Stowlawn, was ordered to appear at Wolverhampton ...
And here :
Carers failed to spot killer
A HEALTH worker was unaware for more than a year that she had responsibility for a mentally ill patient who went on to kill a pensioner, a damning report found.
Irene Norman, aged 84, was drowned in the bath at her home in Bilston, Wolverhampton, by neighbour Donald Benion on November 27, 2002.
Benion admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility when he appeared at Wolverhampton Crown Court in February 2004. Two months later he was sentenced and ordered to be detained indefinitely in a secure mental unit outside Wolverhampton.
A report to the NHS West Midlands board yesterday highlighted "a range of concerns that collectively allowed" Benion to fall out of contact with mental health services.
In September 2001 his care coordinator left the trust and his case was allocated to another care worker but, according to the inquiry, she did not become aware of this responsibility until October 2002, a month before he killed Mrs Norman.
The report - compiled by Consequence UK, Hampshire Part-nership NHS Trust and South West London and St George's NHS Trust - does not identify Mrs Norman or Benion, who it refers to as W1.
It says: "W1's care and management fell short of the standards one would have expected between September 2001 and November 27, 2002. Whilst there are no guarantees contact with W1 would have revealed any behaviour suggestive of an increase in risk factors, the fact he was not seen leaves this open to question."
Mrs Norman's granddaughter, Kerri John, yesterday criticised Wolverhampton Primary Care Trust and the SHA for delays in the report.
In a statement yesterday, she said: "Although the report has exceeded expectations and provides answers, I remain disappointed we had to be persistent to ensure the independent investigation occurred. It took me 16 months of phone calls and letter writing before the investigation was commissioned."
Wolverhampton PCT has drawn up an action plan in line with the raft of recommendations, primarily to improve training for care coordinators over care programmes.
And here :
A health worker did not know for more than a year she was supposed to be responsible for a mentally ill patient who became a crazed killer and drowned a Black Country pensioner, a damning report has revealed.
Widow Irene Norman, aged 84, was kicked and dragged into her bath by her neighbour Donald Benion in Stowlawn, Bilston, on November 27, 2002.
Benion will remain in a secure mental hospital for the rest of his life after pleading guilty to manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility in February 2004.
An inquiry, which took 16 months of complaints by the victim’s family to be commissioned, revealed he received inadequate mental health care from Wolverhampton City Primary Care Trust (PCT).
It highlighted “a range of concerns that collectively allowed” Benion to fall out of contact with mental health services, the West Midlands NHS board heard yesterday.
In September 2001 Benion’s care co-ordinator left the trust and his case was allocated to another care worker, but she did not become aware of this responsibility until October 2002 - a month before he killed Mrs Norman.
The investigation referred to Benion as W1. Among the failures highlighed were:
The hand-over of care co-ordination responsibility in September 2001 was ineffective.
The requested and required review of how his care programme was dealt with did not happen.
The report said: “Whilst there are no guarantees contact with W1 would have revealed any behaviour suggestive of an increase in his risk factors, the fact that he was not seen leaves this open to question.”
By Health Correspondent Andy Rea
An exceptionally significant Defence appointment
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