Alex Malcolm

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Met Police

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Alex Malcolm was beaten to death by his mother’s then partner in 2016

A series of failings by the National Probation Service (NPS) contributed to the death of a five-year-old boy who was murdered by his mother’s partner, an inquest has found.

Alex Malcolm was killed by Marvyn Iheanacho, who flew into a rage after the boy lost a trainer in a park in Catford, south-east London, in 2016.

The inquest found the NPS failed to share vital information about him.

Alex’s mother Liliya Breha said the “systems meant to protect us did not”.

The inquest, led by senior coroner Andrew Harris at Southwark Coroner’s Court, concluded on Thursday that a “series of individual failures by the NPS probation officers, coupled with inadequate support and supervision” contributed to Alex’s death.

Iheanacho, of Hounslow in west London, had just been released from prison when he started going out with Ms Breha in early 2016.

In November that year he went to Mountsfield Park with Alex where he flew into a rage after the boy lost a trainer.

Alex died in hospital two days later and the inquest recorded a head injury as the cause of his death.

Iheanacho was convicted of his murder in 2017 and jailed for life with a minimum of 18 years, which was later increased to a minimum of 21.

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Met Police

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Marvyn Iheanacho was jailed for a minimum of 21 years

Under his release conditions, Iheanacho should not have had any unsupervised contact with children under the age of 16 and should have notified his probation officer of any relationships and changes of address.

But the inquest heard he broke those conditions without consequences, even though this would have been grounds for recall to prison.

The NPS failed to ensure his violent history with women was shared with Ms Breha and wrongly classified the “manipulative high risk offender” as a level one risk category instead of three, the inquest found.

The Ministry of Justice, which oversees the NPS, has apologised “unreservedly”.

A spokesperson said: “Our deepest condolences remain with the victim’s family, and we apologise unreservedly for the unacceptable failings in this case – we will now carefully consider the coroner’s findings.

“In the three years since Alex’s tragic death, the NPS in London has undertaken a huge programme of work to improve standards and better protect the public.”

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PA Media

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Alex’s mother Lilya Breha said no-one told her about Iheanacho’s violent past

But Ms Breha said her son “didn’t have to die for system failures to be identified and for people to start to do their jobs properly”.

“Alex was my heart beat and I miss him so much. He should be here right now going to school, playing with his friends,” she said.

“Someone took this away from him for no reason and the systems meant to protect us did not.”

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