Domestic Homicide Review - Published 11 June 2019

Safer Sandwell Partnership logoThe Safer Sandwell Partnership Local Police and Crime Board published a domestic homicide review on 11 June 2019.

The Home Office asks us to publish independent reviews into deaths of adults which have resulted from violence, abuse or neglect by a relation, partner or member of the same household.

Chief Superintendent Richard Youds, Chair of the Safer Sandwell Partnership, said: "This was a terribly sad case and our thoughts and condolences are with Tina’s family and friends.

“Tina* was tragically killed by her partner in 2017. He was jailed for life for her murder and ordered to serve a minimum term of 24 years.

"In line with Home Office guidance, we commissioned an independent review to establish what lessons could be learned regarding how professionals and organisations safeguard victims.

“It’s heartbreaking to read this review as we try to comprehend what life must have been like for Tina day in, day out. Her partner had subjected her to years of abuse and controlling behaviour.

“The report highlights several missed opportunities where organisations could have done more and worked together more effectively to support Tina.

“All partner organisations have accepted the recommendations arising from this review and have made a range of improvements to their services.”  

Since agencies’ involvement with the family and this case, partners have:

  • Significantly stepped up domestic abuse training for staff and reviewed policies and procedures – this has included raising greater awareness of coercive and controlling behaviour.
     
  • Improved housing policies and procedures to provide better support to tenants experiencing domestic abuse – this includes improvements to make sure a tenant is not being coerced when housing receives a request to convert a sole tenancy to a joint tenancy. In addition, Sandwell Council's housing team achieved Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) accreditation in June 2019.
     
  • Strengthened systems for managing domestic abuse offenders and sharing information.
     
  • Created stronger links between women's safety workers and offender management in both the National Probation Service and Community Rehabilitation Companies.
     
  • Continued to roll out a nationally-recognised programme of training at GP surgeries, to help staff identify victims and promote effective support for them and their families.
     
  • Reminded GPs to consider the reasons why vulnerable patients may not engage with services such as counselling, to help identify potential victims of abuse and coercive control.
     
  • Ensured that ‘healthy relationships’ are part of the curriculum in schools.

Chief Superintendent Youds added: "I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this review, including family members who have met with us. It’s vital we listen to their experiences so that we can continue improving services, protect and support others in the future and ensure people have confidence in seeking help.”

A statement on behalf of Tina’s family said: “No person should have to go through the pain of losing a loved one through domestic abuse. The loss has affected everyone who knew and loved Tina deeply. Our lives will never be the same again.

“Tina’s grandchildren are heartbroken and find it difficult to understand why she left them without saying goodbye and why she had to die. The family have united in ensuring Tina’s legacy is a constant reminder for them.

“Following the outcome of the review, and the recommendations to address changes in practices and create an awareness for the services available for people being subjected to domestic abuse, we hope this may stop other families receiving that earth-shattering phone call or knock on the door.”

You can read the executive summary and overview report arising from this review.

You can also read a summary of the key learning points from this review.

Read more and watch an awareness raising film in Tina's Story.

If you’re experiencing domestic abuse and need help, call Black Country Women's Aid 0121 552 6448 or the free 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247. In an emergency always call 999.

Black Country Women’s Aid is an independent charity which has supported survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence in the West Midlands for 30 years. It is acknowledged that victims may not always recognise what they’re experiencing is abuse. It is important for victims to know that the abuse is not their fault and there are services available to provide help and support.

BCWA services include domestic abuse refuge and community support; rape, sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse support; forced marriage and honour-based violence support; children and young people’s services; therapeutic services; and support for female offenders and women with complex needs.

People can also seek help from their GP if they are experiencing domestic abuse and Sandwell and City Hospitals have a joint project with Black Country Women’s Aid to provide a specialist domestic abuse worker in their A&E department to assist victims to get the right support.

For more information on domestic abuse services, visit our domestic abuse webpages.

*Please note that pseudonyms are used in the Executive Summary and Overview Report reports in line with Home Office guidance for the publication of domestic homicide reviews. The pseudonym ‘Eve’ was chosen by Tina’s family.

Home Office letter – please note that the Home Office letter from January 2019 refers to publishing only the executive summary report following the wishes of the family. However, to raise awareness of domestic abuse and learning from the review, the family has since asked for both reports to be published. Both reports were published on 11 June 2019.