A retired businessman told by police to make his own enquiries after he was robbed was bludgeoned to death by the same suspect days later.
Jordan Davidson, 25, battered Nicholas Churton, 67, with a hammer and hacked him with a machete in his own flat.
But days previous when Mr Churton, a retired restaurant owner from Wrexham, north Wales, told police the intruder had tried to steal his television and taken his house keys, it was recorded as theft rather than the more serious offence of robbery.
And Davidson, a serial criminal and convicted burglar, had been hauled before magistrates for breaching his parole that same week but was let free.
The thug, from Wrexham, was later jailed for life for the 2017 murder and attacking a police officer.
However, a damning report released today slammed the police response and said two of the officers involved, one of whom is a sergeant, should face misconduct hearings.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) concluded that the officer had failed to record details of a neighbour who may have had information about Davidson and had wrongly not identified Mr Churton as vulnerable.
Its director for Wales, Catrin Evans, said: ‘Police requesting a vulnerable victim of crime to carry out a line of enquiry themselves to find out who the offender was, has, in my view, the potential to increase the risk to the victim.’
A call handler who took the initial call on 14 March 2017 left their role in August 2018.
North Wales Police Detective Superintendent Dan Tipton said: ‘I recognise that this is a difficult time for Mr Churton’s family and I know how important it is for the family to fully understand the circumstances leading up to his tragic death.
‘Since Mr Churton’s murder we have reviewed our policies and procedures in relation to risk assessment following calls made to our control room and the deployment of officers.
‘We will now be holding a number of formal disciplinary proceedings in line with the IOPC recommendations.’