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MP: 'I will not let Kerri's death be in vain'

Joe Storey was jailed for the murder of Kerri McAuley. Credit: Family photo / Norfolk Police

A Norfolk MP wants the brutal murder of a Norwich mother to help shape new government policy on domestic abuse.

Kerri McAuley, 32, was killed by her on-off partner Joe Storey in January this year. He had broken every bone in her face in a violent assault at her Norwich home.

Kerri McAuley was killed in a brutal attack by her former partner. Credit: Family photo.

In June, the 27-year-old was jailed for a minimum of 24 years following a two-week trial. It took a jury just 45 minutes to convict him. Since then, Norwich North MP Chloe Smith has met with Miss McAuley's mother, Lesley, to discuss her case.

During Storey's trial, it was revealed he had a history of abusing his partners, had served jail terms for assault, and had been subject to a restraining order that prevented him contacting Miss McAuley.

Police at Southalls Way in Norwich where Kerri McAuley's body was found. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

"I never met Kerri but she would have been my constituent. Like everyone, when I heard I was shocked and horrified.

"Every brutal murder is shocking at any time, but I think this was made so much worse by the suggestion things could have been stopped earlier. And that’s why I want to act."

– Chloe Smith MP, Norwich North, Con

Ms Smith has now spoken to crime and safeguarding minister Sarah Newton who is preparing a new bill on domestic abuse.

Chloe Smith met with crime minister Sarah Newton. Credit: Chloe Smith

"Serial offenders is one example of the areas that will be looked at. As a constituency MP, it is incredibly important to be able to use important local examples to get better laws, to make the laws of this land better, so that Kerri did not die in vain.

"I hope that this will be an important line of work to change the law for the better so that evil people like Joe Storey can be stopped in the future."

– Chloe Smith MP

Miss McAuley's family has welcomed Ms Smith's attempts to ensure lessons are learned from her death.

"Any kind of laws that could be changed in any way just so things could be more safe.

"My daughter had a big heart; she would be looking down thinking ‘yes’."

– Lesley McAuley, Kerri's mother

"I certainly hope [the minister] has listened because there’s a significant need for changes to the way domestic violence offenders are sentenced, rehabilitated and dealt with by probation."

– Steven Roberts, Kerri's uncle.