Norfolk Community Safety Partnership published Domestic Homicide Reviews
Daisy - as identified in the report - was 89 when she was killed by her husband. Daisy and her husband were known as a devoted and caring couple. This Review is a reminder of the tensions inherent in situations where the physical frailty of a carer limits their ability to provide the care desired for a loved one. It raises the question of the status of carers and older members of our communities, and how they are valued by services and society.
Maria – as identified in the report – was aged 26 at the time of her death. She was killed by her ex-partner at her home. Her ex-partner pleaded guilty to her murder in December 2018 and subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 19 years 264 days before parole can be considered.
Mary – as identified in the report – had been married to Henry for 50 years. They were an independent couple, self-sufficient, wary of strangers and very private. Mary took full responsibility for caring for Henry’s deteriorating mental and physical health, despite offers of support.
Until Mary’s murder, domestic abuse was not apparent. However, there were elements of behaviour within their relationship that relate to traditional gender roles not uncommon in older people, but are now understood to be indicative of a level of coercion and control.
There are lessons for health, social care and housing in how they recognise mounting pressures within relationships where there is increasing carer dependency.
April – as identified in the report – was 32 when she died. She was a deeply devoted and loving mother, daughter and friend. She was brutally murdered by a violent and controlling individual, who was known to several agencies. The nature of the coercive and controlling behaviours that April faced were significant, and there are important lessons for all of us in appreciating the barriers that need to be overcome to support victims effectively.
Stephanie – as identified in the report – was killed by her husband of 11 years after he discovered that she was having an affair and intending to leave him. He then killed himself. Although there was no contact with specialist agencies, there are lessons for universal services such as GPs and hospitals.
Kelly – as identified in the report – was 31 years old when she died. A much loved daughter and sister, Kelly was receiving assistance from agencies shortly before her unexpected death, having recently been subject to MARAC. Kelly had been in a relationship which she was trying to leave and was starting to talk to professionals about her drug and alcohol issues.
Emily – as identified in the report – was described as a well-liked member of the community. Married to the same man for over 40 years, she had recently been seeking help due to his erratic and controlling behaviour. Although she actively sought and received support from several services, she was unable to find an acceptable solution to the problems she was experiencing at home. Emily took her own life the day before her 70th birthday.
Kitty – as identified in the report – was described by family, friends and colleagues as a gregarious, hard-working, resilient woman, who despite many set-backs in her life kept smiling. She had many friends, and colleagues said she was a genuine person, and someone you could confide in, and she had an amazing personality. Although friends and colleagues were aware that she was not happy at home she managed to keep a smile on her face. She had separated from her husband but due to financial reasons they still shared the same house. Returning home from a night out with friends, her husband stabbed her repeatedly.
Fatou – as identified in the report – was an intensely private person who was very seriously minded. She worried about other family members and she 'took the weight of the family on her shoulders'. She always wanted to do everything to make the family happy, and keep up appearances. Gambian-born, Fatou had many miscarriages and unsuccessful IVF attempts which were a major concern to her and her culture. Married to Ebou, an older man who was a ‘Walter Mitty’ character, who murdered her and then killed himself.
Mrs M was a strikingly beautiful, bubbly, vivacious woman who could be the life and soul of the party who would light up a room. However, her larger than life personality could also be used as a veneer to cover up her low self-esteem; she needed reassurance and was vulnerable. Mrs M’s early adolescence was undoubtedly a troubled and self-destructive phase in her life and the issues remained, with her mental ill-health making her vulnerable and unpredictable at times. She was killed after an argument with her husband.
Mrs A was an attractive, bubbly, and gregarious woman. She loved to dress up for social occasions and would accompany her husband to local events connected to some of his duties locally. Mrs A and her husband Mr B were viewed as a fun-loving very outward-going, well known couple, and Mr B was said to be proud to have Mrs A on his arm. They had an open relationship – both had affairs, although tensions were later evident. Mrs A was thinking of leaving Mr B when he shot her and then killed himself.