Insight

International Women's Day: Tributes to the women killed by men in the Midlands

By ITV News Central Journalist Rosie Dowsing

Josephine Kaye, Wendy Morse, Julie Webb, Najeeba Al-Ariqy, Kerry Woolley, Julie Williams, Nicole McGregor, Marie Gladders, Kimberley Deakin, Lauren Mae Bloomer.

The names of 10 women in the Midlands killed by men, who have been convicted in the last year.


Julie Webb

Julie Webb, 44

Julie Webb was 44 when she was murdered by Darren Constantine in January 2019.

Her brother later described her as a "beautiful little sister" who would "give her last bit of food or money to others if they needed it."

Her killer was sentenced to life imprisonment in January 2021, and was ordered to serve a minimum term of 16 years.


Josephine Kaye

Josephine Kaye, 88

Josephine Kaye, who was 88-years-old, was attacked during a burglary in Stoke on-Trent in February 2020.

Ms Kaye had lived in the area since 1955.

Amos Wilsher was found guilty of her murder in February 2022.


Wendy Morse

Wendy Morse, 51

Wendy Morse, 71, died after she was attacked by Kenneth McDermid in March 2020.

She had worked as a midwife, and her children said she was a "truly unique and irreplaceable woman".

"Fortunately, we are left with happy memories of how mum influenced all of our lives," they said.

"We hope her death will lead to improvements in mental and social care."

Mr McDermid was convicted of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and sentenced to a life hospital order.


Najeeba Al-Ariqy

Najeeba Al-Ariqy was described by a Judge as a "well-liked, responsible and loving person who did what she could to bring happiness to others."

The 47-year-old was killed by Ameen Thabet in Birmingham on March 22, 2020.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to serve at least 18 years.


Kerry Woolley

Kerry Woolley, 38

Kerry Woolley was 38 and had two young children. She was living in Solihull when she was killed by Ian Bennett.

During court proceedings, a statement written by her children was read out. "Your love is still our guide. Although we can't see you, we know you will always be by our side," it said.

A court heard Mr Bennett had googled the 'best way to get revenge on a woman' before he attacked Ms Woolley. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

His mother was also sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted of assisting an offender and perverting the course of justice.


Julie Williams

Julie Williams, 58

Julie Williams was found dead in Coventry in October, 2020.

She was 58, and was killed by Anthony Russell. A GoFundMe was set up to help cover funeral costs, which raised over £2,000

Russell has pleaded guilty to three murders, and is awaiting sentencing.


Nicole McGregor

Nicole McGregor, 31

Nicole McGregor, who was 31-years-old, was five months pregnant when she was killed by Anthony Russell in Leamington Spa.

She had three children.

After her death, her twin brother posted a tribute to her on Facebook.

"Fly high high darling twin. RIP twinnie look and watch over us all. Until we meet again."


Marie Gladders

Marie Gladders, 51

A court heard Marie Gladders was a victim of controlling and coercive behaviour before she was killed by then boyfriend, Mark Masefield, in November 2020.

The 51-year-old's daughter said her mother had "a heart of gold" and said that Mr Masefield's actions were responsible for the "complete horror and suffering that my family have endured".

He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, having previously served time - and been released - for a murder committed in 1987.


Kimberly Deakin

Kimberly Deakin, 29

Kimberly Deakin had a four-month-old baby when she was murdered in November 2020 in Stoke on-Trent.

Lewis Croft was jailed for life in May 2021 for the killing.

Ms Deakin's mother and partner released a joint statement saying "The day my baby girl was taken away from us was the hardest thing that we have ever had to face."

Her father, and step-mother, described her as the family's "rock."

"There will never be enough justice but we know she will be looking down at us all thinking ‘that’s my family and I’m proud of each and every one of them.'"


Lauren Mae Bloomer

Lauren Mae Bloomer, 25

Lauren Mae Bloomer, 25, was studying at Nottingham University and lived in Tamworth in Staffordshire.

She was killed by Jake Notman in November 2020. He was later sentenced to eight years in jail for manslaughter a year later.

Ms Bloomer's mother said she had been "our world, she was the cement that held us together.

"The guiding voice of excitement with Halloween and Christmas, a truly talented artist and creator of pranks and all-round fun. Her laugh was so loud and contagious.

"The colours have truly drained from our world."


There are a further 16 women from the region who have died over the past year where men are either awaiting trial, or have died before facing trial.

Five of them have died since the 1st of January.


Help and support

If you need support or advice about anything visit our advice page.

Call the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247 for confidential, non-judgemental information and support.

Women's Aid - for information and support, email helpline@womensaid.org.uk or use the instant messaging service.

Contact a local domestic abuse service by using the Domestic Abuse Directory.

If you are in immediate danger, call 999.