Inquest finds systematic failings in police response to domestic violence

Friday 28 February 2014

An inquest jury has today found that there were systemic failings in the police response to domestic violence, when returning a verdict of unlawful killing in the inquest into the death of Mavis Clift.

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Mrs Clift was killed in a house fire suspected to have been caused by Paul Barber, the estranged husband of her daughter Susan Robinson. Ms Robinson underwent months of harassment prior to the fire, on 1 January 2008, which caused the death of her mother and in which Ms Robinson suffered severe injuries.

The jury found "Ineffective computer systems at all stages of the process, insufficient ongoing training of staff in all issues relating to domestic abuse, a concentration on incident resolution at the expense of victim support and a failure to link such incidents as part of an escalating pattern of harassment, all culminating in a failure to provide sufficient crime protection measures and achieve a timely, successful prosecution."

This case has been widely reported in the media, including in the Northampton Chronicle.

Rajeev Thacker was instructed for the family of Mavis Clift by Beth Handley of Hickman and Rose Solicitors.

Rajeev is a member of the Garden Court Chambers Inquests Team.

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