Girl who witnessed stepdad murder her mum wants more awareness of coercive control

  • Georgia Gabriel-Hooper tells ITV Central she wants the story of her mother's death to help others spot the signs of domestic abuse, before its too late

A young woman from Shropshire who witnessed her mum being shot dead by her stepdad when she was just 14, is hoping a new documentary about the murder will teach others how to spot signs of domestic abuse.

Georgia Gabriel-Hooper's mum Cheryl was murdered by Andrew Hooper in Newport in 2018.

The story of how it unfolded, and how police eventually caught the killer, is told in a new ITVX series called 'A Murder in The Family'.

The documentary shows footage of a young Georgia in the police station, hours after seeing her mum get shot by her stepdad.

Now aged 19, she told ITV Central she knew in that moment she had to be strong and make sure the police catch her mum's killer.

"I was in shock, nobody expects that," she said.

"I knew I was the only witness, I knew that ultimately I was the only person that could get him put away.

"I knew I had to do that to get justice for myself and for my mum."

Unseen police footage shows Georgia in the moments shortly after she witnessed her mum's murder, aged 14. Credit: ITVX / A Murder in the Family

Andrew Hooper was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 31 years for Cheryl's murder.

Georgia says she hopes the new documentary will spread awareness about how to spot the signs of coercive control and domestic abuse before it's too late.

Georgia's stepfather was controlling and emotionally abusive, but the first time he was physically violent was the day he killed Cheryl.

Speaking about coercive control, Georgia said: "It's incredibly well hidden, and it's really difficult to pick up on different signs.

"Look out for the subtleties and slight changes in people's behaviour.

"There really is no black and white, however, they may start to go out less, they may fall out with friends, become more isolated, and seem less themselves.

"It is really difficult to see, and sometimes, it really is too late."

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 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.