Domestic abusers should be treated like terrorists. They create fear and terror and kill more women and children than any terrorist incident year on year, yet still there is no national, co-ordinated response to proactively identify, assess and management these dangerous men by police, prison or probation services.
My report, below, prepared for Peers ahead of the Committee Stage of the Domestic Abuse Bill revealed that the failure to join up and tackle past violence of 28 men allowed them to go on and kill 31 women, some killed two women and another three and five women. Most of the women had reported domestic abuse to police prior to their murder.
Police and other agencies failure to tackle domestic violence led to the deaths of 31 women and eight children. 58 women and 15 children were also significantly harmed by the 30 perpetrators that I profiled.
Today, Wednesday 10th February, Peers in the House of Lords will debate Amendment 164 in the Domestic Abuse Bill that would require serial and serious domestic abusers and stalkers to be subjected to the same strict mandatory controls as convicted terrorists. It would mean police, probation and prison services along with other agencies would be proactive in checking domestic abusers and stalkers past histories, whether convicted or not, and devise measures to prevent any repeat violence. This would shift the focus to risk management of the perpetrator’s behaviour and away from the victim.
Trigger warning –
The report below makes for extremely grim and deeply disturbing reading. I have detailed 30 perpetrators, 28 of whom murdered 31 women and killed 8 children, and 30 men who seriously harmed at least 58 more women and 15 children – that I know about. There will be more.
These cases highlight a failure to information share, risk assess and manage across agencies. Put simply, the focus should have been on the perpetrator and there should have been a Multi-Agency Public Protection Panel Arrangement (MAPPA) referral. However, this rarely happens in practice regarding coercively controlling perpetrators and stalkers, which is exactly why a national, co-ordinated, mandatory approach is urgently needed. Systemic change is urgently needed through law reform. No amount of training has changed this. I have been banging this drum and writing report after report detailing the case failures – women being raped, abused, terrorised, tortured and murdered – since 2001 and still, twenty years on there are only pockets of disconnected good practice. It’s not good enough. We need a co-ordinated, mandatory and national approach to dealing with the men who routinely terrorise, and harm women and girls and we need it now. There have been too many reviews, to many ‘lessons to be learned’ which never are and very little action.
The Domestic Abuse Bill presents an opportunity to create real change to better protect women and girls. We must not delay any further. Women and girls are paying with their lives:
1.Regan Tiernay, 2020
Regan Tiernay reported her ex-partner multiple times to Greater Manchester Police. In the last report, two days before Regan was brutally murdered on June 5th 2020, she reported threats to kill to police. Her ex was stalking her and escalated to murder. Her father, David is very upset and concerned that Greater Manchester Police failed to record 80, 000 crimes in this time period and he believes that his daughter’s reports were not taken seriously. There appears to be no focus on the perpetrator and no referral to a multi-agency panel. This case is subject to multiple reviews for ‘lessons to be learned’. There appears to have been no investigation, no risk assessment or focus on the perpetrator despite the fact that stalking is high risk and if there is a threat to kill, 1 in 2 perpetrators will act on it.
2.Alfie Gildea, 2020
Four-month-old Alfie Gildea was killed by violent Sam Gildea who had been previously convicted of manslaughter by violent shaking. This is how he killed Alfie. Mum, Cailtin McMichael, learned about that AFTER he murdered Alfie. Why was she not told before? This is the police force that failed Clare Wood and the reason Claire’s Law came in because of their failures. Greater Manchester Police knew that he was a serial perpetrator and they did not act. Why not?
On 26/11/20, the coroner, Alison Mutch, said: ‘Gildea was a serious and serial domestic abuse perpetrator who was well known to GMP. They failed to recognise coercive control’ Why was his case not heard at MAPPA when his history of violence was known to Greater Manchester Police?
3.2020 Two unnamed women
Stephen Williams was sentenced to two years in prison on May 29 2020 for a horrific campaign of mental and physical abuse on his 18 year old girlfriend. She is 10 years younger than him. He held a knife to her throat, punched in the face, poured corrosive cleaner over her head and threatened to kill her. He coercively controlled her and made her give up her job as a hairdresser & her family and friends. His controlling behaviour went on for months and he made her travel with him in his HGV lorry cab to make sure she didn’t talk to anyone. He threatened to kill her mother, sister and little brother. He punched her in the face, bit the back of her neck and said he would ‘break every bone in her body.’ He pulled her finger back 12 causing ligament damage and fractured her rib. Her sister called the police and she was taken to hospital.
Williams was arrested and pleaded guilty to controlling and coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship; assault by beating; assault occasioning actual bodily harm; causing an unauthorised transmission from prison, and; witness intimidation. A former partner gave evidence at court about his abuse. Williams pressured her to retract her statement and threatened her by saying ‘I will get out of her one day and you will regret it.’ The Judge described him a controlling and manipulative bully and said “I have come to the view that you pose a significant risk of harm to your female partners.”
Williams was sentenced to just two years in prison and made the subject of a restraining order, forbidding him to see or contact his ex-partner for two years. It’s clear Williams is a risk to future women and he will likely spend one year in prison unsupervised.
As it stands, upon his release, he will not be identified as a serial perpetrator and a risk to other women. Under the new system he would be categorised as Category 4, included on ViSOR and managed via MAPPA, with involvement from relevant local specialist domestic violence services. An order could be placed on him regarding if he moves, starts a new relationship or changes his name as well as attendance at an accredited perpetrator programme. However, under current guidance and practice it is unlikely that he will meet the MAPPA criteria.
4.Rosie Darbyshire, 2019
Rosie Darbyshire was murdered by her boyfriend Ben Topping in Preston. Rosie put in the application under Clare’s Law after others raised concerns about Topping’s violent past – but she did not receive any information on him before he killed her 11 days later.
Topping brutally attacked Rosie with a crowbar on the street. He inflicted more than 50 injuries on her, leaving her unrecognisable.
He had a history of violence and a previous girlfriend had written on
Facebook “You’ll be next.” Why was there no focus on his behaviour? Information should have been shared and his behaviour risk managed at MAPPA?
Rosie’s family are calling for serial abusers to be proactively identified, assessed and managed across the UK.
5. 2019 Unnamed women
2019 Paul Moses stalked his ex-girlfriend when she ended the relationship. He followed her in his car and would go to her gated property and let himself him to her house. He was caught on the victim’s cameras. He would call her up and call her a ‘slag’ and assaulted her. Throughout the trial his behaviour was minimized despite the fact that in court it was revealed that Moses has eight convictions including affray in 2007 and breaching a non-molestation order against a different woman in 2019. Moses is a serial stalker and the current victim knew nothing about his past. On June 9th 2020, the Judge sentenced Moses to nine months in prison and gave him a restraining order. It makes no difference that he has stalked multiple women and unfortunately in a few months’ time, he’ll come out and stalk other women. Given his convictions, no-one would know his previous convictions relate to stalking multiple women. We need a proactive approach and a database approach to managing the information and intelligence and managing the perpetrator.
6. Janet Scott 2018 and Pearl Black 199
Simon Mellows murdered two women, Pearl Black and Janet Scott. He murdered Pearl and then when he came out of prison, he began a relationship with Janet Scott. He did not tell her about his history. Mellows coercively controlled her, threatened her and tried to kill her. She reported to Nottinghamshire police and probation. Mellows should have been recalled on licence but no action was taken, and Janet was brutally murdered. The Ministry of Justice apologised for their “unacceptable failings” that allowed Mellors to kill another woman.
7.Cheryl Gabriel Hooper, 2018
Cheryl was stalked and murdered by serial perpetrator Andrew Hooper. He shot her in front of her 14-year-old daughter, Georgia in their car. Georgia jumped out of the car just before he shot her mum. She is lucky to be alive – but bore witness to her mum being abused, hunted down and shot dead in front of her. There was no focus on Hooper or attempts to stop his behaviour. His history was not joined up between Staffordshire and West Mercia Police. There was no information share or multi-agency meeting to problem solve his behaviour. He stalked Cheryl, threatened suicide, threatened her with a gun, placed a tracker on her car
In fact, when Cheryl feared for her life police changed the appointment time multiple times. She was not taken seriously, and his behaviour should have been the focus. This was a preventable murder.
Hooper stalked his former ex-wife before Cheryl. He broke into her house at night wearing surgical gloves and armed with a knife. He threatened to kill his ex. He was arrested for aggravated burglary and pled guilty to affray and received a suspended sentence in 2004. Hooper’s history of abuse and threats to kill have disappeared and should been made visible. This was not joined up before he murdered Cheryl and no questions were asked about his previous offending behaviour.
Please read Georgia’s account in her own words (attached.)
8. Caroline Devlin in 2006 and Susan Nicholson in 2011.
Darren Trigg abused and murdered two women, Caroline Devlin and Susan Nicholson. He had relationships with both women and there was a history of domestic abuse in both cases. Yet Sussex Police failed to take any action after both Caroline and then Susan died in suspicious circumstances despite both sets of parents pushing for the cases to be properly investigated. Both families have campaigned and lobbied for many years on behalf of their daughter’s. Trigg’s narrative was not challenged on either occasion – it was just accepted. At least two officers were involved in the investigations of both murders but the similarities between the cases were not identified as suspicious. An independent police inquiry identified “missed opportunities” and there were 3 internal investigations. There appears to be a gender bias in this case where he was allowed to murder two women. Why wasn’t his narrative challenged? Why were Sussex Police so resistant to investigating these cases thoroughly?
9.Justene Reece 2017
Nicholas Allen coercively controlled and stalked Justene Reece. Justene took her own life and wrote in her note that she had “run out of fight.” Allen desecrated Justene’s mother’s grave, he threatened to kill her children and he made her life unbearable, the Judge said.
Justene had reported Allen 34 times to Staffordshire Police. 16 allegations were not cross referenced with any previous reports. Seven of the 14 police call outs were not cross checked at all. Allen had a string of convictions for violence against women and girls including harassment – stalking. This case was not referred to MAPPA. There was no multi- agency information share or problem-solving approach. If there was Justene would have felt something proactive was being done to stop Allen from abusing her. Instead, she felt hopeless and helpless and as the Judge said, he made her life unbearable and no one even tried to stop him.
After Justene’s death, Allen was convicted of stalking, coercive control and manslaughter. Why wasn’t Allen arrested and charged? Why was his history not joined up? Allen was jailed for 10 years in 2017. He will be out in a few years and any future relationship that he has, will no doubt be the same.
10.Kerri McAuley 2017
Kerri McAuley was brutally murdered by Joe Storey in Norwich in January 2017. Kerri suffered 19 injuries to her head and Storey broke every bone in her face. He then smeared her blood on his face and took a selfie before leaving her to die. Storey had violently attacked five previous girlfriends dating back to 2008, and at the time of the murder had three restraining orders to protect former partners. Before the murder, the terrified mother-of-two endured four hours of being attacked and locked away by Storey. She escaped bloodied and beaten, wearing just her underwear, through the window of her home. She called 999 and for 22 minutes pleaded for help, telling the call handler about previous assaults for the first time and saying she was scared of further attacks. She feared he would kill her. In July 2016 Storey received a restraining order for this prolonged and vicious attack – just like ones he had breached repeatedly against his previous partners. Six months later, Kerri was dead. Why wasn’t Storey’s violent history of abuse joined up? Why wasn’t Kerri protected?
The domestic homicide review found that had Storey been charged and convicted when he attacked Ms McAuley in July 2016 “he may have received another prison sentence, and this may have prevented the murder of Ms McAuley.”
In addition, had he then been under the scrutiny of the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MAPPA) – a monthly meeting where professionals share information on high-risk cases – it “MAY have meant more cross-agency resources were alive to his potential and this MAY have had a deterrent effect”. Under the new proposed system, Storey’s case would be heard as a Category 4 case at MAPPA+ and it would ensure professionals are assessing him and not focusing on Keri and ‘why she went back to him’.
11.Molly McLaren, 2017
Joshua Stimpson abused and stalked Molly McLaren and at least two women before Molly. Molly knew nothing about Stimpson’s history. She ended the relationship and he followed her to the gym and stabbed her 75 times in the car park. His former girlfriend, Alexandra Dale, reported him to Staffordshire Police. Stimpson had threatened to stab and kill her. No action was taken, despite the stalking law being in place and the history was not joined up. There was no information share or referral to MAPPA.
12 Shana Grice, 2016
Michael Lane stalked and murdered Shana Grice. Shana reported multiple times to Sussex Police. Lane had abused 13 girls before Shana and they had reported him for stalking. There was no focus on his behaviour or his history – only Shana’s and she was issued with a fixed penalty notice for wasting police time. There was no proactive investigation. Lane was interviewed by Police for just 12 minutes. There was no intelligence or information share or referral to MAPPA.
13.Anne-Marie Nield 2016
Anne-Marie Nield suffered multiple fatal injuries in an assault at the hands of her jealous and controlling ex-partner, Richard Howarth at her home in Manchester. He turned up unannounced at her home in the early hours of May 8 2016. He had been stalking her.
Howarth had been on police bail at the time of her murder, pending a trial for an alleged assault against Ann Marie some months earlier. Anne-Marie had reported him numerous times to police. He was controlling, had smashed her phone during an argument, had damaged her front door, assaulted her numerous times and strangled her. Howarth was already known to Greater Manchester Police for a “history of violence” against other women and Howarth was categorised as a ‘serious’ and ‘serial perpetrator,’ having committed offences of violence towards previous partners. This case was not referred to MAPPA. Information was not shared and he was not ‘problem solved. Anne-Marie was left at risk and she was subsequently murdered.
Each time Anne-Marie reported it was treated as an isolated ‘incident’ and she was not told under the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme about his history of violence to other women. Despite identifying Howarth as a serial perpetrator there was no multi-agency risk management framework in place.
Howarth would meet Category 4 criteria and could be risk managed by MAPPA+ if this were brought in.
14.Yvonne Johnson, Yvonne Bennett and Angela Best, 2016
Theodore Johnson coercively controlled, abused and murdered three women, Yvonne Johnson, Yvonne Bennett and Angela Best. In 1981, he was sentenced to three years for killing Yvonne Johnson. They argued as she said he need to be smart for Church. He hit her over the head. He was cleared of murder but convicted of murder by provocation (stated that “she nagged him” – more likely she asked him to meet his responsibilities). Bizarrely, the Judge described him as a ‘battered husband.’ Utter misogyny and gender bias.
In 1993 he killed Yvonne Bennett. He strangled her as their 2-year-old daughter slept. He was released after just four years. He then met Angela Best. He struck her repeatedly with a claw hammer. He then took a dressing gown cord and wound it around her neck. He strangled and murdered Angela in 2016. There was no focus on Johnson’s behaviour, no information share between agencies or with Angela. Why was his case not referred to MAPPA? Johnson was a serial killer, and his behaviour should have been the focus. This is a clear example of a violent and abusive man being let off the hook with light sanctions and Judge’s excusing his behaviour leaving future women at risk. He was a serial killer. Why was he not problem solved?
15.Lina Keza, 2013
Linah Keza was stalked and stabbed to death by ex-partner David Gikawa in her east London home in 2013. She reported him to the Metropolitan Police Service numerous times, and she went to a solicitor to seek a non-molestation order. She highlighted in detail how, over four years, she was harassed, stalked, coercively controlled, intimidated and abused by a man who punched her, attempted to strangle her, suffocated her with a pillow, put a knife in her mouth, threatened to kill any man who came near her and was known to carry a gun in her statement. “I believe that I will be at risk of significant harm if the respondent is not ordered to stop immediately … I am petrified … I do not want to live a life of violence anymore,” she said. Linah finally ended the relationship in June 2013.
Gikawa, a heavy drinker, had eight convictions and had been in prison. In 2006 he accepted a caution for assaulting a partner. A probation report in July 2013 warned that Gikawa was stalking Linah.
The police, when called out, failed to check the intelligence. On July 28 she called the police three times as he was stalking her and he was outside her house. He slashed her friend’s car tyres and threatened to harm him in Ugandan. Although they identified a number of high risks in the DASH Risk Model, they categorised it as medium risk and failed to fully investigate. On 31 July, Gikawa entered Linah’s home and stabbed her three times in front of their two-year-old daughter. This was a high-risk case and should have been heard at MAPPA – but it wasn’t. This would fall into Category 4 MAPPA+.
16.Tracy and Shaun Jones 2014
IN 2014 Tracy Jones and son Shaun were murdered in an arson attack by serial perpetrator David Potts in Manchester. There were huge failures by police, social services and health. He was a serial perpetrator with mental health issues. He should have been managed via the MAPPA. There was poor communication and very little information sharing across agencies, particularly regarding the psychiatrists and hospital staff, police and social services.
Each agency had competing agendas and Tracy and her children’s safety got lost in the shuffle despite the fact that David Potts had told numerous health professionals that he was going to kill Tracey and posted a threat online. There was documented evidence of escalating risks, but nothing was done proactively. The Serious Case Review and Domestic Homicide review was in excess of 250 pages detailing the history, the many interactions with Great Manchester Police, health and social services, the lack of join up, the lessons to be learned and the recommendations. This case was a murder in slow motion. It was preventable if professionals involved had proactively worked together on a risk management plan at MAPPA targeted at Potts.
17.Linzi Ashton 2014
Michael Cope raped, strangled and murdered Linzi Ashton on June 29 2014. Linzi had reported him to Greater Manchester Police for two offences of strangulation, rape and threats to kill. Cope told her he was prepared to kill her and do the time for the crime. By the age of 20, Cope already had convictions for grievous bodily harm, violence against strangers and family members, violence against two former partners, in the case of both of them, strangulation, with chilling echoes of Linzi’s murder. Linzi knew nothing of his violent history. At court he admitted to assaulting Linzi three times prior to killing her. The rape charge was not pursued and so that is not on his record. Linzi was a mother to two daughters who were seven and two at the time. They will grow up without their mother, because a violent and entitled man was allowed to kill her.
18.Cherylee Shenann, 2014 and Janine Waterworth, 1998
Cherylee Shennan was stabbed to death outside her home by convicted killer Paul O’Hara in March 2014 in front of police officers who had been called to investigate reports of domestic abuse. O’Hara was previously given a life sentence in 1998 for killing ex-partner Janine Waterworth but was released on licence in 2012. He had other previous serious convictions for violence against women. He had been assessed in prison as displaying traits of psychopathy. At the time of his release, he was assessed as posing a serious risk to women. Despite his history, O’Hara’s risk was not required to be managed by multi-agency meetings under the Multi-agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA). 11 The family first suspected that O’Hara was abusing Cherylee when they saw her with serious facial injuries at a family gathering on Bonfire night. At the time, Cherylee gave an alternative explanation for the injuries. However, on 1 March 2014, she told her sister Ellen that it was O’Hara who had caused the injuries; that he had also fractured her jaw; and that he had held her hostage at knife point. She also told her sister his offending history. The family called the police.
Police officers attended, without any knowledge of O’Hara’s history. They discovered his history on doing a PNC check at Cherylee’s home. But they viewed Janine’s murder as ‘historic’ and took no positive steps to arrest O’Hara. Nor did they take a full account either from Cherylee, who was frightened and fearful of the consequences of police involvement, or from the family members present who could confirm the injuries they had seen.
Coroner James Newman published a ‘prevention of death’ report, raising alarms over the lack of inter-agency communication between probation services and police.
In his findings, he questioned the role of MAPPA for the county. He said: “Following (O’Hara’s) release there were no local MAPPA meetings, no inter-agency meetings and no significant inter-agency communications regarding the perpetrator, no detailing of his licence conditions, and no information regarding either his nature or the trigger factors of his offending.
My concern is despite this, and the findings of the report, there is still no mandatory process for the sharing of information between agencies where the offender, despite a known extensive history of domestic abuse and identified trigger factors, is then managed at MAPPA.” Before her killing, the inquest heard how Cherylee had suffered a broken nose, repeated facial bruising and a broken jaw at O’Hara’s hands. She was held hostage at knife-point at least twice. O’Hara would meet Category 4 criteria and could be risk managed by MAPPA+.
19.Kirsty Treloar, 2012
IN January 2012 Kirsty Treloar was stalked and murdered by Myles Williams weeks after she gave birth. Williams was on bail for attacking her previously. Kirsty was terrified of Williams, with good reason. He had beaten her before and sent her a text saying that he had made a New Year’s resolution not to harm her again. But when Kirsty refused to see him Williams broke into her family home and stabbed Kirsty 29 times in front of the 26-day old baby and tried to kill Kirsty’s brother and sister when they tried to protect her. He dragged Kirsty out by her hair and put her in his car. He then left her body behind wheelie bins near the abandoned car two miles away. Williams had a history of violence towards other women – he assaulted his ex-girlfriend, kicked and threatened her when she was five months pregnant. Despite this his case was not heard at MAPPA and there was no information sharing or co-orindated approach to problem solve his behaviour.
The Judge said he presents a danger to all women.
20.Jane Clough, 2010
Jonathan Vass coercively controlled, raped, stalked and murdered A&E nurse Jane Clough. She had just had a baby. When she reported to police he stalked and killed her. He stabbed her 71 one times and cut her throat. He also abused at least two of his former partners. The police did not focus on his behaviour. Despite his offending history there was no MAPPA referral.
21.Rachael Slack and Auden Slack, 2010
Andrew Cairns stalked and murdered pregnant Rachael Slack and her 23-month-old baby, Auden. Cairns had a history of abuse. He was known to psychiatrists. There was no focus on his behaviour, no MAPPA referral or information share. Why not?
22. Clare Wood, 2009
George Appleton stalked, sexually assaulted, strangled and murdered Clare Wood in Salford in 2009. He set her body on fire. He had been sentenced to three years for harassing a woman (stalking), jailed again for sixth months for breaching a restraining order and he had abused other women. Clare reported him multiple times to Greater Manchester Police and at no time was she told about his violent past. An alarm was put in her house after Appleton attempted to rape her and he was arrested a week before her murder for smashing down her front door. An Independent Police Complaints Commission report concluded she was let down by “individual and systemic” failures by Greater Manchester Police. Understatement of the year, quite frankly. After Claire’s murder more women were left unprotected and were subsequently murdered.
23.Patricia Sykes and Donna Wilson, 2008
Shaun Clarke murdered two women, Patricia Sykes and Donna Wilson. He strangled Patricia after she ended the relationship. He served 16 years and was deemed ‘low risk.’ Clarke started a new relationship with Donna and she knew nothing about his history. He abused, assaulted and stalked her on separation and Donna reported him to Staffordshire Police. He was not arrested, and he murdered her the next weekend. He stabbed her nine times and she had 46 separate injuries.
24.Maria Stubbings, 2008
Maria Stubbings, from Chelmsford, Essex, was found dead in her home on 19 December 2008. Marc Chivers was found guilty of her murder in December 2009 and was sentenced to a ‘whole life’ sentence. Chivers had killed his former partner Sabine Rappold, in 1992 in Germany. He had strangled her with a piece of rope. He was sentenced to 15 years in 1993 in Germany. On his release in January 2008, he was deported to the UK where he met Maria in early 2008 while she was walking her dog. The relationship was short and violent. Chivers was arrested and remanded in custody for seriously assaulting Maria on 16 July 2008. He was given a 4-month jail sentence on 13 October 2008 but released immediately given his time spent on remand. Before Chivers was released from prison, Essex police disabled an alarm in Maria’s home.
On his release, no conditions were placed on Chivers and no steps were taken by Essex police to provide protection for Maria. The Multi Agency Public Protection Panel concluded Chivers did not fall within their remit.
On 3 December 2008, Maria’s friend Claire Oliver contacted the police to express concern that Chivers may have assaulted Maria again. No action was taken in response to her call. 17 Maria contacted the police on 11 December 2008 asking about a restraining order, saying Chivers was hanging around her home and had burgled it while she was out, and that she was concerned for her safety. She contacted police again, twice, on 12 December. On 12 December a police officer called Maria to say they had found Chivers with her son in his car. She was very upset. They drove her son home and she told them again that she had reported a burglary to the police.
Chivers had broken in and stolen Maria’s medication – this was not a normal burglary. This was stalking. On 13 December officers contacted Maria. She sounded strange on the phone and the officer believed that Chivers might be with her, so they decided to visit her. Police attended her home, and she did not let them in the house. They asked her to sign their notebook to say she didn’t want to proceed with the matter, even though they believed Chivers might be there in the house at the time. They closed the case. This was the last time the police saw her alive. Maria’s son is believed to have been in the house after her murder with his mother’s undiscovered body and her killer. Chivers is reported to have followed him around to ensure he did not discover the body. On 17 December, a police officer failed to attend the house to check on Maria after being instructed to do so. An officer from the Domestic Violence Unit became concerned for Maria when she saw Maria’s calls about Chivers on the police log. Officers were told to attend her home. On 18 December, Marc Chivers answered the door and told them that Maria was away. They took no steps to search the property and left having asked Chivers to inform Maria that they had called. Police attended again on 19 December, this time with explicit instructions to arrest Chivers and search the property. They searched the property and found Maria’s body in the downstairs bathroom. She had been strangled with a dog lead. They finally arrested Chivers
“My mum, Maria Stubbings, was murdered by convicted killer Marc Chivers. My mum was failed, and the lessons have not been learned. Our current system is failing women and children – violent men must be made visible. Men with violent histories must be checked and joined up. Too often we focus on the victim. It’s time for change and genuine accountability by the system and perpetrators. It’s unacceptable that domestic abusers and stalkers are the only criminals that are not proactively identified and monitored as being serial perpetrators. Statutory agencies (police, prison and probation’ must be charged with the responsibility for proactively identifying, assessing and managing serial and serious domestic violence perpetrators and stalkers” Celia Peachey, daughter of Maria Stubbings who was murdered by Marc Chivers in 2008 after he came out of prison for murdering Sabine Rappold in Germany.
25.Katie Boardman, 2008
Brian Taylor stabbed Katie Boardman 82 times. She had called Greater Manchester Police 11 times previously. none of these calls not the patter was joined up. Five of the calls were the week that she was murdered. But Greater Manchester Police failed to link various incidents – instead handling the complaints ‘in isolation’. The report the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), concluded that there was a ‘clear failure to identify the pattern of problems. Katie, 24, was killed at her home, on October 9 2008 while two of her three children were in the house.
26. Amelie Delagrange, Marsha McDonnell, Kate Sheedy, Mily Dowler (2002-2004)
Levi Bellfield raped and abused all of his partners as well as many more women and girls. There was extreme coercive control and domestic terrorism. Becky Wilkinson, Emma Mills and Jo Collings reported Levi Bellfield to police for domestic abuse and stalking. They were not taken seriously, and charges were dropped. Bellfield was prolific.
There were 51 intelligence logs and 55 crime reports relating to Bellfield’s escalating abuse including, kidnap, 6 ABHs, 3 GBHs, 3 rapes, indecent assault, domestic violence, harassment, affray, drugs, possession of an offensive weapon, deception, 13 affray, impersonating a police officer and murder. Yet he was not convicted for any of these serious crimes.
Bellfield stalked Emma and inserted himself back in her life after she came out of a refuge in Woking. He moved himself into her flat in Collingwood Place. Bellfield said he would not hurt her again. He didn’t raise a hand to Emma again but he harmed other girls and women, escalating to murder. Milly Dowler went missing outside Collingwood Place. He abducted, raped and killed Milly and concealed her body in Yateley Heath Woods, where his former girlfriend rode her horse. In 2003 Bellfield stalked and murdered Marsha McDonnell as she got off a bus in Hampton having been to the cinema in Kingston that night. In May 2004 Bellfield stalked and attempted to kill Kate Sheedy as she alighted off a bus in Isleworth. Bellfield used his car as the weapon. And in August 2004 he stalked and murdered Amélie Delagrange on Twickenham Green. The links were not made until it was too late. Rapists and serial killers do not wake up one day and suddenly kill women. They practice at home. Bellfield was a prolific offender, although unconvicted, just like Huntley and he should have been referred to the MAPPA – but despite all his offending behaviour he wasn’t. He wasn’t seen a priority or risk or danger until he killed many women.
We must put the learning from this case into practice. He travelled across many regions and a national framework is needed. MAPPA+ and Category 4 would potentially prevent serial rapists, serial murder and terrorism, given the link to abusing and harming significant women in their lives.
27. Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, 2002
Ian Huntley abused at least 10 previous girlfriends including his ex-wife, Claire Evans and Maxine Carr. In 1994 he dated 16-year-old Amanda Marshall and was controlling to her. In 1995 he married 18-year-old Claire Evans. She suffered years of coercive control and physical and sexual abuse. He strangled her over the kitchen sink. Claire said he enjoyed her fear. He sexually assaulted her, attacked her in the shower, hacked off her hair and she was forced to abort their baby after Huntley threatened to hurt it. In 1996 he dated 14-year-old Janine Oliver. She was a child. He cheated on her throughout. In 1996 Huntley locked 12-year-old Louise Tinmouth in her room and demanded sex. In 1996 Huntley locked 15-year-old Chantal Lea on her apartment and abused her. Again, she was a child. In 1997 he raped 15-year-old Katie Webber and forced her to eat cat food. She thought she was pregnant and when she told him he pushed her down the stairs. He charmed her and beat her and she was too scared to leave. She was a child.
In 1998 he met 19-year-old Becky Bartlett in a Grimsby nightclub. He singled her out. Two months in she thought she was pregnant, and he punched her in the stomach. He was controlling and a bully and demanded that the house was spotless. In 1999 he met Abby Rimmer. He was a controlling bully.
He then dated Maxine Carr. Maxine was a repeat victim of domestic abuse. Huntley abused her too. In between dating and abusing multiple young girls, many of whom reported him to police, Huntley he was raping young women who were coming out of nightclubs. A police officer a wrote on the intelligence database “Huntley is a serial rapist’ yet no action was taken, and his case was not heard at MAPPA. 10-year-olds Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman went missing in August 2002. Huntley abducted, raped and killed them. The Bichard Inquiry found that there was a failure to manage the intelligence and to information share within the police service and across agencies. This case should have rung serious warning bells had the dots been joined up about Huntley’s escalating behaviour.. Under this new provision Huntley would be heard as a Category 4 offender.
28.Charlotte Kneer survivor and CEO Reigate and Banstead Refuge Women’s Aid
Charlotte was victim number three. She married the man who would later threaten her life and rape her– she had no idea that he had abused at least two other women. His behaviour escalated when they married, and he threatened to kill her. She was terrified and was forced to leave in the middle of the night with her children. Her mother contacted me, Laura Richards, as she was so scared, he would kill Charlotte. I risk assessed Charlotte’s case at midnight one weeknight evening and I shared Charlotte’s mother’s concerns. He was a high-risk serial perpetrator. Early the next morning Laura intervened and spoke with police. An investigation ensued which resulted in him being prosecuted and he was convicted to four years in prison. He has a history of behaving like this to other women and has now been released. He has not been referred to MAPPA despite his history and other women are now at risk. Charlotte says:
“The importance of proactively identifying, assessing and managing serious and serial domestic abusers cannot be overstated. As a survivor of serious domestic abuse from a serial perpetrator, I know only too well what difference can be made to many victims, including me, if he had been managed years ago when his offending first came to light. Even now, he has served a lengthy prison sentence and his probation has ended, he is not being managed and will no doubt go on to commit further serious crimes. I always thought I was lucky to escape with my life, the next victim may not be so lucky.”
29.Zoe Dronfield, survivor of a near lethal attack by Jason Smith who abused 18 women before her
Zoe Dronfield was victim number 18 at the hands of Jason Smith. He had been reported at least 13 times to West Midlands Police by ex-girlfriends for domestic abuse, including a police officer who told them he would kill the next woman.
Zoe reported multiple times when Smith broke into her property and started stalking her after she broke up with him. She was told to pick a nicer boyfriend next time. West Midland’s Police did not check his history. There was no focus on his behaviour. The next time he saw Zoe he locked her in her house and attacked her with a meat cleaver and knife. She managed to call 999 and was rushed to hospital. She is lucky to be alive. Zoe says:
“How is it right that I was victim 18? I did everything right and I was attacked and almost killed by Jason Smith. My children and I have to live with the impact of his attack on me every single day, and with him coming out of prison, without me being notified, it just adds insult to injury. Why are his rights more important than mine and my children’s safety? And what about the next woman he targets? What about her safety? Does she not deserve to know?”
30.Rachel Williams, survivor, was stalked and shot by serial perpetrator Darren Williams.
Rachel was abused by Williams for 18 years which ended with an attempted murder by her abuser in August 2011. After she left Williams, he stalked her at her place of work, a busy hair salon, and he shot at her from point blank range with a sawn-off shot gun. After shooting her in front of customers he then beat her before fleeing the scene. He was later found dead.
After the shooting Rachel was taken to hospital where she spent 6 weeks recovering from her injures. Three days after her discharge from hospital, on 26th September 2011, her 16-year-old son ‘Jack’ took his life…all because of the actions of one man. One man, who Rachel later discovered from the IPCC Report and Serious Case Review was a serial perpetrator. He was very much visible to all services, but yet remained invisible. Rachel wants to ensure serial abusers are visible and accountable and that their behaviour is the focus. There was no information share or MAPPA referral about Williams when there should have been. He as a dangerous escalating perpetrator. Rachel says:
“The proactive identification, assessment and management of serial and serious domestic violence offenders and stalkers could have saved me from being shot by Darren Williams, and my son, Jack, taking his own life. Darren had been convicted for violence and for assaulting his previous girlfriend after she took out an injunction. He was known for firearms and had previously been convicted after an arsenal of weapons were found under his bed. His violent history should have been joined up. Despite this, nothing was done to protect me and Jack and I have paid for that and I lost my son too. The culture urgently has to change, where the perpetrator is the focus, and his risk and dangerous behaviour is joined up before it’s too late and even more women and children are harmed and lives are destroyed. This will save countless lives.”
HMIC and HMICPSI Living In Fear report (2017) into stalking found 100% failure rate across six police forces and Crown Prosecution Service areas. Not one case was identified properly and there was no proactive risk assessment or management of perpetrators. To suggest that this is now happening as a matter of routine is fanciful and misinformed.
There is continuing and ongoing systemic failure when it comes to taking stalking seriously. Most often cases are dealt with as harassment and there is no join up regarding perpetrators.
The multi-agency response to perpetrators must be significantly improved, consistent and co-ordinated by the statutory authorities charged with public protection in order to save lives and save money.
Women and children are being failed and left at risk on a daily basis. This is systemic failure and institutional incompetence. Even when perpetrators are put before the court, sentences are pitiful.
For MAPPA+ to work, Category 4 is required along with quality multi-agency training across complimented by clear guidance ahead of implementation to include direction that relevant local specialist domestic abuse agencies and stalking services must be included at the MAPPA+ meeting and an enhancement of ViSOR – the Violent and Sexual Offender’s database.
This will create urgently needed cultural, attitude, systems and law change which states: you MUST focus on the perpetrators who commit the most harm; you MUST put intelligence and information on the system and share it across police, probation and prisons; you MUST use an integrated approach and system and collect national data, and; you MUST take proactive action to ensure the safety of women and children and future victims. An integrated, consistent and collaborative multi-agency approach led by statutory agencies with specialist domestic abuse and stalking professionals at the problem-solving table will save lives and money.
I urge all Peers and the Government to support Amendment 164 to ensure women and children are better protected from intimate partner terrorists and stalkers. There are pockets of good practice but no national, co-ordinated or consistent approach to tackling these dangerous men which is urgently needed. Domestic abusers should be treated like the terrorists that they are and it should not be left to women and children to try and manage these violent men on their own. Please do not delay any further. Act now and save lives and money.