Kerri McAuley’s family demands law change as details are revealed of murderer Joe Storey’s EIGHT previous attacks on FOUR women
PUBLISHED: 20:19 19 June 2017 | UPDATED: 08:23 20 June 2017
The heartbroken family of domestic violence victim Kerri McAuley today made this demand - “change the law before it happens again”.
Their challenge to the legislators came after prosecutors at Norwich Crown Court revealed a shocking litany of previous attacks on women by Joe Storey, who murdered Ms McAuley.
Storey was today jailed for life for the killing, with Judge Stephen Holt telling him he would serve at least 24 years - meaning he will be 51 before he is considered for parole in 2041.
Speaking after the sentencing Steven Roberts, Ms McAuley’s uncle, said: “We have many wonderful memories of our time with Kerri: sadly they are now tainted by thoughts of her suffering in the final moments of her life at the hands of a monster as he repeatedly rained the most serious of blows to her head, resulting in every bone in her face being broken like a jigsaw.
“I do not wish to further upset but I make no apologies for the graphic details as this is the reality of where domestic violence can lead if it isn’t quickly reported and dealt with robustly in the early stages.”
The demand for action followed revelations about other attacks by Storey, including:
■ In 2008 when Storey, 18, picked up a knife and held it to his then partner’s throat. saying “I’ll cut you, I’ll stab you” before he began shouting at her and punched her in the back of the head numerous times. He also headbutted her and squeezed her throat.
■ In 2011 when he became angry with another partner, who believed she was pregnant, and repeatedly kicked and punched her in the stomach. He also assaulted her later that day, punching her in the head and stomach, and said he hoped she would lose her unborn child.
■ Another assault against a different partner, also in 2011, when he threw her phones out of the window so she could not contact anyone or leave and then knocked her unconscious with a punch to the head.
Mother of two Ms McAuley, 32, died after she suffered 19 injuries to her face and head from a vicious and sustained attack by her ex partner Storey in her home in Southalls Way, Norwich, in January.
Storey, 27, formerly of Murrells Court, Norwich, had over a few years committed eight offences against four separate women and was made the subject of four restraining orders which included one, in October last year, banning him from contacting Ms McAuley.
Mr Roberts said the family wanted to see changes made to stop other tragedies.
He said: “There should never be a first time but if there is it most definitely must be the last time.”
“Please, we encourage anyone in a violent or abusive relationship to talk now to the police, family and friends and with those experienced organisations.
“It should not be about cowering, running or hiding from your abuser, it should be about the abuser being accountable for their actions and brought to justice early.
“But most importantly held long enough to support rehabilitation whilst affording the victim sufficient time to secure the right support and move on with their life without fear of further violence, reprisal harassment and stalking.”
A homicide review, involving police and other agencies, will take place following Ms McAuley’s death and Mr Roberts urged those working on it to look at any potential failings.
He said: “We call on the homicide review team to incorporate an investigation into the clearly ineffective rehabilitation of this monster whilst recently serving a sentence for domestic violence against another poor woman.
“We also ask that they do the same to the parole board team that clearly failed to identify the significant risk that this monster remained to women when releasing him so soon into his sentence.”
Detective Chief Inspector Marie James, who will be part of the review, said: “There will be a review and we will look at all of those cases to see what more, if anything, could’ve been done.”
Storey was sentenced yesterday after a jury took less than an hour to unanimously convict him of Ms McAuley’s murder. Judge Stephen Holt said it was “one of the worst cases of domestic violence that have come before these courts”.
He said the fact Storey took a picture of his face covered in blood before leaving Ms McAuley’s flat showed a “sadistic” element. Andrew Oliver, for Storey, said the attack had not been premeditated.