#parents | #teensvaping | Inquest into Conner Marshall death rules teen killed unlawfully

Killer David Braddon stamped on Conner’s head, took off his clothes and beat him with a metal pole in an unprovoked attack (Picture: Wales News Service)

An innocent teenager was stripped naked and beaten to death by a serial offender in a case of mistaken identity, a coroner ruled today.

Conner Marshall, 18, was brutally murdered by stranger David Braddon, 31, who thought his victim was his ex-girlfriend’s new partner.

The criminal was being monitored at the time of the killing, after he was convicted for drugs offences and assaulting a police officer.

However, in the nine months before stamping on Conner’s head and beating him with a pole, he breached his probation by missing eight separate meetings.

Today, a judge ruled that his ‘woefully inadequate’ supervision under the privately ran Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC), meant Braddon was free to launch the fatal attack at a seaside holiday park in 2015.

Conner Marshall’s parents spent five years fighting for an inquest into probation failures (Picture: Wales News Service)

Conner’s heartbroken mum, Nadine Marshall, 47, said the ruling ‘vindicated’ what she had always known to be true after five years of being ‘dragged through the depths of despair’.

Speaking outside court she said: ‘This was a direct consequence of the chaos caused by the privatisation of probation services.

‘The coroner identified seven major failures. Had these failures not occurred we will never know if our son Conner would be here today.’

Coroner Nadim Bashir concluded Conner was killed unlawfully, but said his death could not have been avoided.

However the inquest heard that staff managing Braddon’s case were ‘overwhelmed’ with work and that this ‘clearly’ played a part in the teenager’s tragic death.

Probation service officer Kathryn Oakley told the hearing in Pontypridd that at the time of the murder, she was a new starter supervising Braddon as one of around 60 other cases.

Mr Bashir said: ‘In my judgement, she [Oakley] was a ‘brand new’ probation service officer with no experience of probation work at all.’

A coroner said he death could not have been avoided but that probation failures played a part (Picture: Wales News Service)

He said this and other failures ‘must have a direct and clear causal connection with Conner Marshall’s death and must contribute to the death in a more than minimal way when it comes for me to consider the issue of causation.’

Conner was attacked at Trecco Bay caravan park in Porthcawl, South Wales when he was staying there with friends.

His last message to his mum was to tell her he would be back on the Sunday for her birthday – but the next time she saw him he was critically injured in a hospital bed.

High on a cocktail of alcohol and drugs, Braddon stamped on the teen’s face, kicked him in the ribs, stripped him naked and repeatedly hit him with a metal pole, causing him a ‘horrific degree of suffering’.

The killer admitted the charges and was jailed for life at Cardiff Crown Court in June 2015.

Conner was killed by serial offender David Braddon who was supposed to be being monitored by probation services Picture: Wales News Service)

But Conner’s parents, from South Wales, say they were kept in the dark about many details of the attack on March 8, 2015 and wanted a full hearing.

Speaking for the first time since his son’s death, Richard Marshall said the trauma of what happened to Conner will always haunt them.

He told ITV news: ‘You love your kids forever and I’ll miss my child forever. You never stop loving your kids til the day you die’.

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