Leeds & West Yorkshire

Christopher Laskaris: Victim 'exploited' before murder

Christopher Laskaris Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption Christopher Laskaris was stabbed to death in his flat in Hyde Park, Leeds, in November

A vulnerable man was "repeatedly exploited and abused" before being killed by a drug addict, an inquest heard.

Christopher Laskaris, 24, was stabbed through the heart by Philip Craig at his flat in Leeds in November 2016.

Fiona Laskaris told Wakefield Coroners' Court her son was left at risk by police who had smashed his front door in days before he was killed.

She said her son, who had Asperger's, was "a lovely young man".

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Mrs Laskaris said her son was identified as having autism when he was young, but the family struggled all his life to get a formal diagnosis.

She described his multiple mental health crises as he moved from living at home in Surrey to a flat in Hyde Park, where she said he "just repeatedly got exploited and abused".

"Life was just so hard for him," she said. "When that knock on the door from the police came... I had been waiting for years for it."

Mr Laskaris had won a scholarship to the Charterhouse public school and a London university but did not take them because of his problems, his mother said.

"Such a lovely young man with so much to offer couldn't get that little bit of help he needed to function in this world," she said. "We just couldn't get help. It went on and on and on."

Mrs Laskaris and her daughter Cara want to find out why Mr Laskaris was left in a "vulnerable situation" in which an attacker could gain access to his flat.

"I'm concerned that my son was left in this position. That a murderer could gain access," said Mrs Laskaris.

Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption Philip Craig was jailed for life in 2017 for stabbing Mr Laskaris through the heart

Craig was jailed in 2017 for life with a minimum of 25 years.

The inquest continues.

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