Police 'could not have saved' woman killed by her partner

Denise Skilbeck, 31, was murdered a year ago by Gary Spalding at the home they shared in Newark Credit: ITV Central / Police

Police acted properly in their treatment of a woman who was killed by her partner in Newark, according to an IPCC investigation into the case. Denise Skilbeck, 31, was murdered by Gary Spalding at their home in The Wharf in March last year.The 34-year-old was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison in September 2011 after he admitted killing his partner.The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said officers had done all they could during three years of reports of domestic violence. They examined police contact with the couple on nine occasions from 2008 and found the police followed domestic violence procedures in handling the incidents and the outcome could not have been stopped. In a statement, her family said: "Denise sadly displayed behaviour typical to victims of domestic violence when emergency calls are made, including; making excuses for the perpetrator and covering up their behaviour (in all probability, for fear of repercussion).

"Without evidence many, including her family, could not have realised the extent and level of violence that Denise clearly endured."

Nottinghamshire Assistant Chief Constable Paul Broadbent said: "The IPCC acknowledges the strenuous efforts the force has taken over the last year to tackle domestic violence but there is still more we must and are doing to combat this appalling type of crime.

"We have fundamentally reviewed our policy and procedures to ensure they are as robust and victim-focused as is possible."