A father's plea for help

A father who lost six members of his family in a house fire in Harlow has made a fresh appeal on the Crimewatch programme.

Tony McLernon

Former boyfriend guilty of murder

A man has been found guilty of murdering his heavily pregnant former girlfriend and deliberately killing her unborn baby.

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CPS has apologised for failing to act

The Crown Prosecution Service says that it has apologised unreservedly to Ms Blunnie's parents, for failing to authorise a charge against Tony McLernon.

Chief Crown Prosecutor for the East of England, Grace Ononiwu said:

One of the things we are doing [to change our processes] is setting up Violence Against Women Panels in the East of England which would examine CPS decision making in selected cases. Such panels are to be staffed by members of the public as well as lawyers and I have extended an invitation to Mr and Mrs Blunnie to join the Panel.

The East of England has the best conviction rate in the country for cases of domestic violence, but this case demonstrates the continued need to ever improve our handling and understanding of domestic violence. The fortitude displayed by Miss Blunnie's family strengthens my determination to do so.

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Report says chances missed to protect pregnant teenager

Eystna Blunnie

A new report into the murder of a a heavily pregnant teenager in Essex says chances were missed to protect her. Nineteen year old Eystna Blunnie was beaten to death by her boyfriend Tony McLernon in Harlow in June 2012. She was nine months pregnant.

Tony McLernon

The report by the Safer Harlow Partnership has found there were many signs she was in danger before she was fatally attacked.

It recommended agencies should work together better to share information about high risk adults.

However it said there was no evidence her murder could have been accurately predicted though McLernon had made threats to kill her previously.

Essex Police had asked the Crown Prosecution Service whether he could be charged with an offence.

At the time, the CPS decided there was not enough evidence. It later admitted that decision was wrong.

Miss Blunnie's father Kevin said he believes his daughter would still be alive if McLernon had been prosecuted earlier.He said: "For that mistake, we lost our daughter and granddaughter."

The report's author, Jackie Sully, said no one could be sure if charging McLernon would have changed the course of events leading to Miss Blunnie's death.

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Father of baby brought back to life: "The odds were stacked against her"

The father of the baby girl brought back to life thanks to a consultant's decision to have one more go at reviving her says they didn't realise how lucky they were.

Beatrix Richards, from Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire, was not breathing when she was born, and hospital guidelines state resuscitation should stop after 20 minutes. But the hospital doctor treating Beatrix was reminded of his own daughter and decided he just couldn't give up.

Beatrix's father Lloyd Richards said: "We didn't realise how lucky we were - the odds were stacked against her from the off. Miraculously she's pulled through."

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Baby girl survives not breathing for 23 minutes

The family in hospital Credit: Richards family

A baby born in Harlow in Essex has survived despite not breathing for the first 23 minutes of her life.

Beatrix Richards had to be resuscitated, but just at the moment when guidelines recommend resuscitation ends, the consultant at the Princess Alexandra hospital, decided to give it one more go.

She started to breathe and now 8 weeks old is back home in Bishop's Stortford.

She still has a tiny bleed on her brain, caused by the lack of oxygen when she was born, the long-term implications of which are unknown, but the outlook is very good.

Beatrix Richards Credit: Richards family

The family are now fundraising for both the Princess Alexandra hospital in Essex and St Thomas's Hospital in London where she was transferred to at just a few hours old.

Beatrix now Credit: Richards family

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Two arrests over family death blaze in Essex

Detectives investigating a fire which killed six members of the same family in Harlow have made two arrests. Doctor Abdul Shakoor was the only survivor of the blaze at the family's home in Barn Mead, Harlow, last October.

Scene following a house fire in Barn Mead Harlow, Essex in 2012
Scene following a house fire in Barn Mead Harlow, Essex in 2012 Credit: Press Association

Sabah Usmani, and their children, Muneeb, nine, Rayyan, six, Hira, 12, Sohaib, 11, and Maheen, three, all died.

CCTV of mosque arson attackers released

Police have released CCTV footage of the men they believe to be responsible for an arson attack on a mosque in Harlow on Monday.

In the footage, three men are seen approaching the Harlow Islamic Centre building.

One of the men is seen holding a drill while another can be seen with what police believe to be a canister of insulation foam.

Leaders of the Islamic Centre called the police after the attack when they found insulation foam sprayed under all of the shutters which cover the doors and windows.

Police are asking anyone who is able to identify the men to contact Harlow CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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