Launch inquiry into social worker stabbing, says MP

An MP has called for a “full inquiry” into the death of a social worker who was killed when visiting a client.

Philip Ellison, 47, was stabbed to death during a visit on Monday to a supported housing scheme for people diagnosed with mental health problems. Mr Ellison worked for Lancashire County Council.

Robert Searle, 51, was arrested at the scene of the stabbing in Glebe Close, Fulwood. He has been detained in secure accommodation under the Mental Health Act.

Glebe Cottages is owned by the Places for People group.

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans, whose constituency covers Fulwood, told journalists: “There has got to be a full inquiry. Lessons have to be learned to protect other social workers.”

Mr Searle’s eldest daughter, Catherine, told the Lancashire Evening Post that her father “would never have done this on purpose.”

She told the paper that Mr Searle was diagnosed with an obsessive compulsive disorder

Mr Searle, whose father committed suicide when he was 15, was sectioned in 2002 and spent five months in the Avondale unit at the Royal Preston Hospital.

After leaving the unit, he moved into a flat in Deepdale, but was later sectioned again.

Mr Searle moved in with Catherine but left a note one morning after trying to kill himself.

She told the Lancashire Evening Post: “I woke to ambulances and paramedics and found a note that said, ‘Sorry Cat, I can’t go on’.”

In 2006, Mr Searle moved into the shared accommodation scheme in Glebe Court.

Last year a mental health worker, Ashley Ewing, was stabbed to death by a client in Newcastle.

Mr Searle can be held for up to 28 days without charge, but will be assessed throughout that period to establish whether he can be interviewed by police.

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