Having just collected his pension, Ted, a former Royal Engineer and World War Two veteran, was followed home from the post office by 15-year-old Cleon Reid, who was out on bail at the time, awaiting trial for seven burglaries. In a completely unprovoked attack, the six-foot teenager stabbed Ted repeatedly and stole his pension money.
After his arrest, Reid was released into the care of Lewisham social services department. A little while later a social worker took him on an outing to Crystal Palace swimming pool. He escaped. A detective said:
"It seems incredible that anyone facing a murder charge of such gravity should be allowed out for recreation without special arrangements being made to prevent his escape."Reid was later recaptured and convicted of murder.