Lessons could be learned over murder

Brought to you by the News Post Leader.
Brought to you by the News Post Leader.

Lessons have been learned after a woman was killed by her mother-in-law although nothing could have prevented it, a report has revealed.

Tina Casey was found dead at her home in Holywell in February 2013 after being stabbed in the head and neck by Heather Emmonds.

Emmonds, 58 at the time, of Blyth Street, Seaton Delaval, denied murder on the basis of loss of control and diminished responsibility but was convicted by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.

She was sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommended minimum term of 20 years.

A domestic homicide review (DHR) was commissioned by the Safer Northumberland Partnership in line with Home Office guidance which seeks to establish what lessons can be learned.

The review found that until less than 24 hours prior to the killing none of the agencies involved had any information to indicate the perpetrator presented any risk of harm either to Miss Casey or any other individual.

It concluded “there was not an opportunity to directly predict or prevent this homicide”.

The DHR did find that had the available information about the family been reviewed from a “more holistic” perspective by all agencies, it may have prompted professionals to focus more clearly on Miss Casey as a victim of domestic violence and made three recommendations, mainly relating to agency responses to events which took place up to eight years before the murder.

It also identified six ‘learning points’ which agencies could learn from.

Coun Liz Simpson, chair of the Safer Northumberland Partnership, said: “This was a distressing and very unusual case and our thoughts and sincere condolences continue to go to the families involved.”

“Learning from Domestic Homicide Reviews is used to revise systems, policies and procedures to improve partnership responses to support families.

“The Safer Northumberland Partnership accepts both the recommendations and findings of the review, and as a result multi-agency working in the county has developed further.

“These recommendations were put into actions in a joint action plan and have now been completed and continue to be overseen by the partnership.”