A DAMNING report has concluded the brutal murder of a vulnerable young man with learning difficulties could have been prevented.

Police and care workers have been slammed in a joint Domestic Homicide Review and Safeguarding Adult Review and have since changed their policies to “seek to prevent further tragic events occurring in these circumstances.”

Phillip Nicholson died of stab wounds to the neck at the hands of his ex-girlfriend Isabella Gossling and her violent new partner Richard Moors at Gossling’s Boscombe flat in May 2015.

Just six days earlier the pair had held him captive in the flat and threatened him, which he reported to three separate care workers. All should have contacted the police but failed to do so, said the review.

A week before that Mr Nicholson, 22, received death threats from the pair. Police were told about the threats but failed to speak to Gossling or Moors about the threats despite committing to do so.

The review said Gossling and Moors had both shown themselves to be capable of violence in the past and that Moors had been accused of three rapes “in which a degree of physical force was apparent.”

It said Moors was a predator who targeted vulnerable people.

The review concluded: “There is undoubtedly evidence that ‘professionals had the knowledge, the legal means and the opportunity to stop the violent incident from occurring but did not take the steps to do so.’

“The police should have intervened more robustly when Phillip reported the threats.”

It said more should have been done after he was imprisoned in the flat.

“These were key opportunities to intervene which seem likely to have afforded Phillip greater protection and may have restrained the behaviour of Gossling and Moors for a time.

“Tragically for Phillip and his family these opportunities were not taken.”

Mr Nicholson was a former pupil of Winchelsea School who lived in supported accommodation in Parkstone.

Gossling, 20, and Moors, 26, were jailed for life for murder.