A JUDGE has called for better communication between probation and psychiatric services after hearing how they failed to work together to help a young arsonist.
Simon Moulder, 20, was supposed to have received help from the mental health services as part of a probation order but within months doctors decided he did not need their specialist help.
There was confusion about what treatment he was receiving when the probation service took his case back to court to discharge the order on grounds of good progress earlier this month.
Moulder, of West Fishleigh, near Hatherleigh, was ordered to receive supervision with mental health intervention after he admitted an arson attack on a barn.
He set fire to Oak Park Farm, Beaworthy in 2011 when he was living at nearby Henford and was unable to go to school because of a one day teachers’ strike. The fire destroyed 30 bales of straw and caused £7,600 of damage.
At Exeter Crown Court Judge Erik Salomonsen lifted the mental health element of the supervision order after the doctor nominated as being in charge of his treatment was called to court.
She explained that Moulder had been transferred from one part of the service to another because he moved to Hatherleigh and an assessment showed he did not need further treatment.
However, this had not been passed on to the probation service.
Judge Salomonsen apologised to the doctor for bringing her to court from Bideford for the five minute hearing but said the case showed the need for better liaison between her service and probation.
He said: “This hearing has been an awful waste of time and energy. I would hope all involved will report back so that in the future all the supervising authorities can communicate with each other so time and cost can be saved.”
At an earlier hearing a different judge lifted the supervision order and congratulated Moulder on the good progress he has made at a farm and residential centre where he is receiving help with his problems.