A Berkshire father has said he still struggles to make sense of his daughter's death nine years after she was murdered while in a Bristol care home.

Melissa Mathieson, 18, was in the care of Alexandra House, which provides residential care for adults with autism and Asperger’s syndrome, when she was strangled by fellow resident Jason Conroy in October 2014.

In a hearing at Bristol Crown Court last year, Alexandra Homes (Bristol) Ltd was charged with an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 following a lengthy investigation.

On December 1, 2023, Alexandra Homes was fined £125,000 for breaching health and safety rules.

Melissa's murderer Conroy, now aged 27, was fascinated by necrophilia and revealed after killing her, he had planned to take the teenager’s body back to his room and have sex with her.

Conroy has been jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum term of 19 years for the sexually motivated killing.

At the sentencing, prosecutor David Sapiecha said Conroy had shown a “pattern of predatory sexual violence” in the years leading up to the murder and had killed Miss Mathieson just two months after moving into Alexandra House.

Conroy, had previously shown dangerous behaviours when he tried to strangle a teacher and on another occasion he attempted to kill his mother.

Hours before she died Miss Mathieson, who had ADHD and autism, had complained to staff that Conroy was stalking her.

Mr Sapiecha said the company had failed in its duty to keep residents safe after being given information about the danger Conroy posed, including a report from psychiatrist Dr Hilary Grant.

“Information was already known when the report by Dr Grant was eventually provided. The report was received at the beginning of August – some two months before the incident."

Mr Sapiecha added that this should have raised "immediate concerns" and "immediate action".

“Once they had that report, Alexandra Homes should have changed the control measures, which were woefully inadequate to protect others, to one that put in place robust support measures and shared with staff.”

In a victim impact statement, Miss Mathieson’s father, James, from Berkshire, said: “My beloved daughter Melissa was murdered under their watch and that is something I can never forgive them for.”

At a previous hearing Alexandra Homes pleaded guilty to failing to provide adult care services accommodation for residents in such a way as to ensure those affected, including Miss Mathieson, were not exposed to the “risks from assault by Jason Conroy” between February 13 and October 13, 2014.

The hearing heard how the company had been trading for nearly 20 years and had an "enviable reputation" but "fell short" by not reading the contents of the psychiatrist report.

Passing sentence, Judge William Hart described Conroy as a “highly disturbed and dangerous young man” whose character was of a “violent sexual predator”.

He said the company had failed to install measures, such as panic alarms and movement sensors, to protect Miss Mathieson and other residents.

“The risk could not have been wholly removed and the steps they took were extensive but not such to comply with its statutory duty," the judge said.

“The company accepts it did fall short.

“Nothing can reflect the value of Melissa Mathieson’s loss of life and no financial penalty of any amount can do so.”

Speaking afterwards, Mr Mathieson, whose wife died from cancer shortly after his daughter, said: “The fine to me is immaterial. The fact that they have pleaded guilty to failings is the thing that keeps me going.

“It’s hard, it really is. Nine years have passed and I’m still no closer really to filling in the full picture of what happened to my daughter.

“Yes, she was murdered but she was murdered in the care home and there should have been things in place for both of them.

“I do not want to see another family put through what I have been put through."