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Family of murdered Norwich mum Kerri McAuley welcome domestic violence proposals in Queen’s Speech

PUBLISHED: 16:35 21 June 2017 | UPDATED: 18:34 21 June 2017

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

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

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The family of a woman who was brutally murdered by her former partner has welcomed proposed new measures designed to tackle domestic violence outlined in the Queen’s Speech.

Joe Storey. Photo: Norfolk ConstabularyJoe Storey. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

The Queen announced details of a draft domestic violence and abuse Bill during her speech which included plans for tougher sentences for domestic abusers whose crimes have a “devastating” impact on children.

She also discussed establishing a domestic violence and abuse commissioner to monitor the response of statutory agencies and local authorities and hold the justice system to account as well as creating a new domestic abuse civil prevention and protection order regime.

The proposals have been backed by the family of Kerri McAuley who was savagely beaten to death in her home in Southalls Way, Norwich, in January.

Steven Roberts, Ms McAuley’s uncle, said the family “welcome” the content of the speech which comes just days after his niece’s killer, Joe Storey, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the brutal murder.

Family of Kerri McAuley speak out after killer Joe Storey jailed for life. Kerri's uncle, Steven Roberts, left, brother Rory (who has beard) and mother Lesley (far right). Photo: MustardFamily of Kerri McAuley speak out after killer Joe Storey jailed for life. Kerri's uncle, Steven Roberts, left, brother Rory (who has beard) and mother Lesley (far right). Photo: Mustard

He said: “Kerri’s family and friends welcome any changes in legislation which supports those being physically and mentally abused by their partners and ex-partners.

“It’s too late for Kerri of course but the fact its in the Queen’s Speech means that there’s a need for it.”

Mr Roberts said they were particularly encouraged by the prospect of a domestic violence commissioner who will hold the justice system to account as well as a domestic abuse civil prevention and protection order.

Mandy Proctor, chief executive of domestic abuse charity Leeway, said: “We would welcome the introduction of a domestic abuse commissioner, which will hopefully lead to a higher conviction rate for these crimes and also raise awareness of domestic abuse.

“It is positive to see these plans outlined in the Queen’s Speech and we are delighted that domestic abuse is an issue that is being taken seriously by the government. The proposals are a positive step towards supporting those experiencing domestic abuse.”

The speech comes as Norfolk police figures show the number of people arrested following reports of domestic incidents rose by 86pc in three years from 2,983 in 2014/15 to 5,561 in 2016/17.

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