Agencies to learn from Northumberland domestic homicide review

Northumberland Gazette latest
Northumberland Gazette latest

The Safer Northumberland Partnership has published the findings of a domestic homicide review into the death of a 48-year-old woman killed by a man with whom she was living.

Mrs A had been in a relationship and living with the perpetrator, aged 49 at the time, for around four months when she was murdered in November 2011. In August 2012, the killer was found guilty of her murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

The independent report was commissioned by the Safer Northumberland Partnership in line with Home Office guidance which seeks to establish what lessons can be learned where someone has been killed by their current or former partner. The review found ‘no evidence’ to indicate that any of the agencies involved could have done anything differently to prevent the death.

It stated: “The review has reached a clear view that none of the agencies, either individually or collectively, could reasonably have been expected to have identified that Mrs A was at risk of serious harm from Mr B.”

Speaking on behalf of the Safer Northumberland Partnership, chairman Coun Dave Ledger said: “This was a distressing case and our sincere condolences continue to go to the family involved. We always look to learn from every incident and there are a number of recommendations which have been taken forward.”

The review did highlight some learning points which will help to ‘minimise any risks arising from similar circumstances in the future’.

Action has already been taken to address the recommendations which include: Continued awareness raising across social-care staff with regards to the needs of those at risk of/subject to domestic abuse, as part of the safeguarding adults training strategy; safeguarding Adults procedures should continue to be considered where cases do not meet the criteria for Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC); prescribers should be reminded of the risk of hostility and aggression in patients prescribed certain categories of medication, particularly in the early stages after changes in medication type or dose levels. Patients should be given appropriate information.

The executive summary and associated documents can be found online.