THE parents of a teenage boy who killed his foster mother had threatened the lives of his previous carers and social workers, an inquiry has heard.


The family of the boy who stabbed Dawn McKenzie to death had warned foster carers that they would turn up at their home with guns.

Social workers who took the boy into care were also told that they and their families would be murdered if he was not returned to his birth mother.

Eileen Lever, a social worker at fostering agency Foster Care Associates, told how she had given Dawn and her husband Bryan detailed information about the boy's family background before they agreed to foster him.

The boy had lived with another family before he was placed with Dawn in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, in November 2010. He killed Dawn in June 2011 at her home when he was just 13-years-old.

The boy was jailed for seven years in 2012 after being found guilty of culpable homicide on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Under questioning at a fatal accident inquiry into Mrs McKenzie's death, Mrs Lever said: "This was going to be Dawn and Bryan's first placement and I wanted to go out and meet them to have a proper discussion with them.

"I spent a considerable amount of time talking about his background and history and why he had been brought into care.

"I talked about his previous foster carers and how his family had made it difficult for them. The parents had threatened to come to their address.

"The parents' behaviour towards the local authority social work department had led to social workers being changed."

One of the boy's previous foster carers had earlier told how she was forced to give up looking after him after being intimidated by his birth family.

She said: "There were threats made to us and our daughter. There was talk about guns and talk about 'we know where you are', that sort of thing."

Mr McKenzie had earlier told the inquiry they should have been given more information about the boy's background.

However, Mrs Lever insisted she had given them enough information and said they were under no pressure to take the placement.

She added: "I talked quite a lot about how he had been subject to chronic neglect.

"That included where he lived and that the family were known to be taking drugs in the house and were unable to look after them properly.

"I gave them a lot of information to the extent that I thought they might say 'why would we take this placement' but I wanted to give them a full picture."

Mrs Lever also told how the boy had once been chased with knives by a group of boys during a previous foster placement.

Mr McKenzie said if they had known more about the boy's background they would have still have taken the placement, but would have been 'more cautious and better armed'.

He said they only received a background report about two months after the placement started, when it emerged that when he was taken into care the boy had been sleeping on a trampoline, had no shoes, was living in a house frequented by drug addicts and had been subjected to "frequent acts of violence".

The inquiry, which is being held in Motherwell before Sheriff David Bicket, continues.