'Leave in secret' plea from mum of woman murdered by her partner

Gemma Lynne Marjoram was stabbed to death in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Gemma Lynne Marjoram who was murdered by her abusive former partner in June 2020 - Credit: Archant

The heartbroken mother of a woman stabbed to death by her former husband has urged those being abused by their partners to make plans to leave safely in secret.

Gemma Marjoram, 38, was stabbed more than 20 times by her former partner Michael Cowey in the grounds of a derelict mental health hospital at Thorpe St Andrew.

Police at the the scene of where Gemma Cowey was found stabbed to death in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture

Police at the scene where Gemma Marjoram was stabbed to death in June 2020 - Credit: East Anglian News Service

The mother-of-three died following the day-time attack in June 2020 after having gone to collect her son from an access visit.

But Cowey jumped in the car and ordered her to drive to the derelict hospital to "talk" when he then attacked her with knives he had hidden in his socks.

Almost two years on, Gemma's mother Linda, 62, has issued a plea for others who find themselves in abusive relationships to try and leave in secret.

Friends and family of Gemma Cowey outside Norwich Crown Court as her estranged husband Michael Cowey was sentenced over...

Friends and family of Gemma Cowey outside Norwich Crown Court as her estranged husband Michael Cowey was sentenced over her murder. - Credit: East Anglia News Service

She said: "I used to be one of those who used to say just get out and leave.

"But I wouldn't tell anyone to do that now because if you do the coercive control and the domestic abuse ramps up 10 fold."

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She urged those who were being abused by partners to try and "leave secretly" with police support or the help of domestic abuse agencies.

It comes after the bitter personal experience of her daughter having told her abuser she was leaving him.

She said: "Gemma told him she was going to leave, she left, and six months later she was murdered after she thought the dust had settled.

Gemma Lynne Marjoram  (left) with her mother Linda Smith. Picture supplied by Gemma's mother Linda Smith.

Gemma Lynne Marjoram (left) with her mother Linda Smith. Picture supplied by Gemma's mother Linda Smith. - Credit: Supplied

"Gemma just thought she had it all in hand...it's just dreadful.”

She added: "If we had any inkling that Gemma's life was at risk we'd have acted differently.

"In the beginning We thought they were having a problem time with their marriage.

"I'm not saying we could've saved her but we would've been more aware and chaperoned her."

In December 2020 Michael Cowey, then 49, and of Dragoon Close, Thorpe St Andrew, was jailed for 23 years after he admitted murder as well as possession of knives.

Michael Cowey. PIC: Norfolk Police.

Michael Cowey. PIC: Norfolk Police. - Credit: Archant

Gemma's family, including her sisters Kimberley and Joanne, are looking to raise awareness of domestic abuse and coercive behaviour locally and nationally.

They are waiting for the publication of a domestic homicide review (DHR) following Gemma's murder which will try and identify lessons to be learned to help prevent future tragedies.

Linda said: "We want the domestic homicide review for transparency - we don't have the full picture at the moment."