The Independent Police Complaints Commission has highlighted shortcomings in the way Essex Police dealt with events leading up to the death of Jeanette Goodwin, who was stabbed more than 30 times by her former partner who was under a restraining order.
Martin Bunch was later found guilty of murdering mother-of-three Mrs Goodwin at her home in Quebec Avenue, Southend, in August last year. She had made seven complaints to police of harassment and domestic violence by Bunch.
The IPCC investigation found that Essex Police took Mrs Goodwin’s reports of domestic violence seriously, offered her practical assistance, and put Martin Bunch before the courts on several occasions, strongly urging his remand in custody, on the basis it was the only way to protect Mrs Goodwin.
The report says: "However, on the day of her murder they did not provide an essential emergency response to a high-risk victim. This was due to a breakdown of communication, a lack of resources and a failure to appropriately prioritise the case. Vital intelligence checks were not made, which would have alerted the decision makers to the danger Mrs. Goodwin was in and her repeated expressions of fear were not recorded by the call taker."
Essex Deputy Chief Constable Derek Benson has extended his 'sincere condolences' to Mrs Goodwin's family. He says his Force accepts the findings of the report and since her death has taken steps to improve the areas where there were shortcomings.
Four members of police staff and a police sergeant, whose shortcomings were identified in the report, have been dealt with by a senior officer.
In a statement Jeanette Goodwin's family said they are pleased the report has highlighted procedures that 'could have been better on the day of her death'. The family say their main concern was with the justice system which, they say, greatly failed Jeanette. They say their lives are never going to be the same again.
Here's a report by Serena Sandhu :