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Mother of murdered Norwich woman backs changes to probation

PUBLISHED: 16:31 16 May 2019

Police at scene following murder pf Kerri McAuley. Photo: Mustard

Police at scene following murder pf Kerri McAuley. Photo: Mustard

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The mother of a Norwich woman who was murdered in her own home by a serial abuser has today welcomed news that the probation service is to be put back into the public sector.

Picture of Kerri McAuley. Submitted by Kerri's family.Picture of Kerri McAuley. Submitted by Kerri's family.

A catalogue of failings was highlighted by a domestic homicide review following the death of Kerri McAuley, who was brutally killed by her ex-partner Joe Storey in an attack at her home in Southalls Way in January 2017.

The review, published in November last year, lifted the lid on a series of failings by organisations meant to protect her, including the probation service.

In 2008 the probation service had assessed Storey, then 18, as having "the capacity to cause fatal harm" to his then partner and unborn child, but despite this he was never properly supervised and went on to attack five previous girlfriends before killing Ms McAuley.

Her mother Lesley, 54, has today spoken out after the announcement that the supervision of all offenders on probation in England and Wales is being put back in the public sector after a series of failings with the part-privatisation of the system.

Kerri McAuley alongside her mother Lesley. Picture: courtesy of McAuley family Kerri McAuley alongside her mother Lesley. Picture: courtesy of McAuley family

It reverses changes made in 2014 by then justice secretary Chris Grayling, and will see all offenders monitored by the National Probation Service from December 2020.

She said: "It failed. It failed the victims and Kerri was one of them.

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"Kerri was failed by the probation service, 100pc.

"All of the family are so angry about the probation service.

"It makes me so angry. There were massive failings - for him to be out on the streets, it was terrible."

She said it was "good" that the probation service was being put back in the public sector and hoped it would help others, although she still could not help but think what if.

She said: "I'm happy that's what's going on but part of me thinks if it was like that [earlier] Kerri might have still been here."

Under the new system, released prisoners and those serving community sentences will be monitored by staff from the National Probation Service based in 11 new regions.

Chief probation inspector Dame Glenys Stacey said she was "delighted", because the model of part-privatisation was "irredeemably flawed".

At the time of the domestic homicide review, the regional director for the National Probation Service admitted they did not have enough resource to do their job properly in Ms McAuley's case.

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