Domestic Homicide Review report published

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The Domestic Homicide Review Panel report into the murder of a 35-year-old mother of two, by her husband of eight years, has concluded that her death ‘could not reasonably have been foreseen or prevented by any agency, organisation or individual.’

The Epping Forest Community Safety Partnership has published the Domestic Homicide Review Panel Report into the tragic murder of Susan, a 35 year old mother of two from Theydon Bois. Her husband Peter assaulted her in February 2016 and set fire to her body in an attempt to conceal the murder.

What is a DHR?

The Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) process considers the circumstances that led to death from violence, abuse or neglect by a relation, partner or ex-partner of a member of the same household.

DHR’s establish whether public bodies and agencies could improve responses to situations, whether the correct safeguards are in place, identify lessons learned and highlight best practice – in order to prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future.

Absolute tragedy

Epping Forest District Council participated in the review. The Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, Councillor Sam Kane said: “Susan’s death was an absolute tragedy. On behalf of myself and everyone on the panel, I would like to extend our condolences to everyone affected by her death, especially her children and loved ones.”

“The exact reasons for the murder were not uncovered but the report discloses an order of events and Peter’s subtle coercive and controlling behaviours that may have contributed to the unexpected attack.”

Subtle abuse

“The panel’s view was that irrespective of whether outreach services were available to Susan, it was unlikely that she, her family and friends would have recognised her need for access to them, because the domestic abuse she received was so subtle. This is indicative of the widening definition of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is far more than physical. It can take many forms that are not as obvious as broken bones or bruising.

“The report highlights the importance of health professionals in recognising potential domestic abuse through interactions with patients with non-physical symptoms such as low self-esteem or depression”.

Report concerns before it’s too late

Councillor Kane concluded: “If you or someone you know could be a victim, you can report your concerns anonymously to the police or to social services. Do not turn a blind eye. Your call could make the difference between life and death.”

J9 initiative

A team of agencies; Essex Police, Essex County Council Social Services, Safer Places and Epping Forest District Council, work together to form the Epping Forest Community Safety Partnership. Together they combat and raise awareness of Domestic Abuse under the initiative ‘J9’, set up in memory of domestic abuse victim Janine Mundy.

Visit the Southend, Essex and Thurrock Domestic Abuse Board (SETDAB) website for comprehensive advice and guidance on how to get help https://setdab.org/victims/

Further contact infomation

  • Police – 999 (if danger is immediate)
  • Police – 101 (non-emergencies)
  • Safer Places 24 hour helpline – 03301 025811
  • National domestic violence 24 hour helpline 0808 2000 247