Litigation Writs 19/8/97

The mother of a murdered child is suing two health authorities over her daughter's death. Beverley Palmer of Hartlepool is seeking damages from Teesside Health Authority and Hartlepool and East Durham NHS Trust for damages. Three-year-old Rosie was abducted, sexually abused, and murdered by Tony Armstrong on 30 June 1994. He then severely mutilated her body, which was not found until 3 July, after Mrs Palmer had been questioned as a suspect by police for 12 hours. The writ blames Rosie's abduction, abuse and murder on alleged negligence by the health authorities, in failing to properly diagnose, treat and assess Armstrong, and failing to ensure he was not discharged into the community while at risk of committing the offences. Armstrong was first admitted to the hospital in March 1992 but, according to the writ, staff failed to pay regard to the fact he was the product of incest between his mother and maternal grandfather and had been sexually abused by his mother, and that as such was likely to sexually abuse children. It is also claimed that the authorities failed to carry out assessments of his mental state in 1993 despite a clear indication that he had an ongoing problem. They are also said to have failed to record details of allegations that Armstrong raped his mother and that he served in the Falklands and cut the penis off a dead man and the breasts off a dead woman. They also allegedly failed to record "shocking things" he said to a student nurse.

Writ issued by Cunningham John and Co, Norfolk.

Rysaffe Trustee Co (CI), of Guernsey, Blenheim Restaurant Group, Blenheim Weekend, Mark Tousey, and Gary Caesar, all of Margaret Street, London W1, are suing Olympian Homes, of London W1, for £162,850 and interest of £7,574 with continuing interest of £35.69 per day which they claim is due under three agreements dated 27 March 1996.

Writ issued by Allen & Overy, London EC4.

Matthew Stone Restoration of London NW1 is suing Beck Interiors of Guildford for £34,419 and interest of £7.54 a day. The stonemasons carried out refurbishing work in Claridges Hotel, London W1, but claim that although they have sent invoices totalling £52,044 in respect of the work, they have only been paid £17,625.

Writ issued by Landau and Landau, London W1.