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IPCC say police missed opportunities to save Becky McPhee's life

The murder of a woman by her estranged husband in Southport could have been prevented according to the police watchdog.

Becky McPhee was stabbed 21 times by Paul Holmes two years ago.

The independent Police Complaints Commssion found that officers from the Merseyside force had previously logged 17 incidents involving the couple.

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Merseyside Police accepts watchdog's criticism over Becky McPhee murder

Becky McPhee Credit: Merseyside Police

Merseyside police said the force fully accepted the Independent Police Complaints Commission's recommendations following the murder of Becky McPhee and says many of them had already been implemented.

The police force says they have held a number of training events since Ms McPhee's death and more than 1,200 staff had been briefed.

The force responds to more than 34,000 calls a year about domestic violence, or 2,800 a month.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Pilling said:

Merseyside Police wishes to pass on its sincere condolences to Rebecca's family following her tragic death, for which Paul Holmes was convicted of murder.

"In relation to Rebecca's death, there were shortfalls on the part of Merseyside Police. In particular, there was a failure to recognise the risk posed to the victim by her killer, who had threatened to commit suicide.

"Individual officers appeared more concerned regarding the threat of self-harm on the part of Paul Holmes rather than about recognising the potential for him to pose a real and significant threat towards Rebecca."

"All incidents are unique and many are complex, and an appropriate service should be provided to every victim and their family," he said.

"Merseyside Police is determined to ensure we improve the service we provide in this respect.

"We take a robust approach to such incidents and since May this year we have made full use of the new legislation regarding the issuing of Domestic Violence Prevention Orders.

"These orders give the police new powers, which did not exist at the time of Rebecca's murder, to remove suspects from the marital or family home to give victims the time they need to seek professional advice and support."

"Merseyside Police also recognises the comments made by the IPCC concerning two inspectors but would like to highlight that this was an independent investigation by the IPCC in which they assessed only one of those officers as having a case to answer for misconduct.

The force has no power to prevent a police officer retiring in such circumstances.

"The force fully accepts all the recommendations of the IPCC report and will do all we can to ensure that they are implemented in their entirety.

– Assistant Chief Constable Ian Pilling, Merseyside Police

Man jailed for stabbing his partner in Manchester

Stuart Coope Credit: Greater Manchester Police

A man who tried to kill his partner with a bread knife has today been jailed for eight years.

Stuart Coope, 37 attacked his boyfriend after he lured him to his home in Moston on 29th March 2014.

When his partner entered the kitchen, Coope lunged for a knife block and grabbed a large, serrated bread knife.

Coope stabbed his partner repeatedly but he managed to get out of the house and a passer-by intervened and called the Police.

Detective Constable Louise Edwards said:

The brutality and animosity of this attack is shocking, even for an experienced Police officer.

Had he not been interrupted, I have no doubt that Coope would have continued his assault until the victim was dead.

– Detective Constable Louise Edwards, GMP

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Gerrard says Liverpool must 'learn to crawl before they walk'

Steven Gerrard Credit: PA

Captain Steven Gerrard insists Liverpool's new-look side must learn to crawl before they can walk after scraping past Bulgarian minnows Ludogorets in their Champions League opener.

The former England midfielder scored an added-time penalty after Mario Balotelli's first goal for the club in the 82nd minute was cancelled out by substitute Dani Abalo eight minutes later.

After a five-year absence from Europe's premier club competition it was not one of the classic nights at Anfield but Gerrard promised there was better to come.

Steven Gerrard Credit: PA

"We are very relieved. It was very important to start the competition off with maximum points," said Gerrard.

"I don't think it was a very good performance from ourselves but we have managed to take the three points, which is vital.

"I think we will get better as the season progresses.

"We have a lot of new faces trying to find their feet and settle in and there is a lot of expectancy on us because of how well we performed last year but it will take time to get back to that level - hopefully sooner rather than later.

"Sometimes you have to crawl before you can walk."

Liverpool's Mario Balotelli scores their first goal of the game during the UEFA Champions League, Group B match at Anfield Credit: PA

Gerrard believes Balotelli will go on to score plenty more after converting a smart chance in front of The Kop to open his account following a #16million move from AC Milan.

"I think it will be the first of many," he added.

"I thought he worked his socks off. You look at strikers and sometimes when it is not going their way they sulk but he was relentless and he stayed in there and that one good chance which came his way he took and it was a great finish."

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