Elderly domestic abuse victims experience 'more intense abuse'

Elderly victims of domestic abuse may experience more intense and frequent bouts of domestic violence, according to new guidelines from the Crown Prosecution Service.

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Case behind the guidelines: Mary Russell

  • Domestic violence among elderly couples was brought into focus by the death of 81-year-old Mary Russell in 2010.
  • Mary died of a bleed to the brain following a "domestic related" incident but is believed to have suffered abuse for some time.
  • Mrs Russell, of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, made eight 999 calls in the seven months before she died.
  • She first reported violence to police in 2003, when she was found standing on her doorstep with blood pouring from her nose by a neighbour.
  • Her husband, Albert Russell, was arrested after his wife's death but it was decided that there was not enough evidence to prosecute the 88-year-old, who has since died.
  • A serious case review found police were failing to deal with the hidden problem of domestic violence among elderly couples.

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