Inquest finds multiple failings by police "materially contributed" to the deaths of Raneem Oudeh and her mother Khaola Saleem

Friday 18 November 2022

The family were represented by Brenda Campbell KC and Alia Akram of Garden Court Chambers, instructed by Sarah Kellas of Birnberg Peirce.

The family were supported by Centre for Women’s Justice, Southall Black Sisters, Inquest and Roshni, Birmingham.

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An Inquest into the deaths of Khaola Saleem and her daughter, Raneem Oudeh, has today concluded with a verdict of unlawful killing and long narrative verdicts setting out multiple ways in which police failures into escalating domestic abuse materially contributed to the deaths of both women.

On 27 August 2018, Khaola Saleem and her daughter Raneem Oudeh (22) were both stabbed to death by Raneem’s ex-partner outside Khaola’s home in Solihull, Birmingham. The perpetrator later pleaded guilty to their murders.

An inquest before HM Coroner Louise Hunt, at Birmingham coroner’s court examined events in the five months prior to their deaths, including the role of West Midlands police, social services, and probation in investigating the domestic abuse by the perpetrator and safeguarding Raneem, and thereby her mother, from risk.

The jury has provided a detailed narrative verdict commenting on the inadequacy of police response to multiple repeated incidents of domestic abuse reported by Raneem, paramedics, and neighbours which led to failures to provide protection to her, failures to record or investigate any crimes, failures to arrest and failures to safeguard. A catastrophic failure to respond to 999 calls on the night of the murder and downgrading of risk also materially contributed to the deaths.

In their concluding narrative, the jury found that there were failures in training and understanding of West Midlands police domestic abuse policy and failures to understand the nature of domestic abuse and a victim’s response to it. They concluded that the numerous failures to respond to incidents between April and August 2018 materially contributed to the deaths of both women. They also concluded that failures to respond to repeat 999 calls on the night of 26 and 27 August 2018 materially contributed to the murders.

Nour Norris, sister of Khaola and aunt of Raneem said,

“The inquest has revealed the full horror of police failings, but there is so much more yet to achieve; we need changes to prevent future deaths through domestic abuse. We need a cultural change at all levels of policing. We ask for no more failure, no more dismissal of victims of domestic abuse. The legacy of Raneem and Khaola must be to ensure that other victims get the respect, support, investigation and safeguarding that our loved ones did not get.”

This content has been reproduced from a Centre for Women's Justice press release. For the full briefing and quotes from family, legal team and supporting organisations, please see the press release here.

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