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Mother of murdered Norwich woman hits out at probation after review

PUBLISHED: 13:55 04 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:55 04 September 2019

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

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

courtesy of McAuley family

The mother of a Norwich woman who was murdered in her own home by a serial abuser has hit out at the probation service after inspectors said it required improvement.

Police at the scene after Kerri McAuley was murdered by former partner Joe Storey. Photo: MustardPolice at the scene after Kerri McAuley was murdered by former partner Joe Storey. Photo: Mustard

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, 55, has spoken out after HM Inspectorate of Probation announced the probation service in the East of England is dealing with "significant staff shortages" and "unmanageable" workloads.

The National Probation Service (NPS) South East and Eastern Division, which supervises more than 16,000 individuals, was rated as requires improvement after a routine inspection visit.

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Ms McAuley's mother Lesley said: "I'm still angry. I'm still really angry inside and I don't feel that will ever go away.

"It does require improvement, it's terrible. People are not being supervised properly.

"There were failures with the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) but for me, the probation service was the one that were meant to supervise that man."

During fieldwork in May and June, inspectors looked at 10 aspects of its work, rating half as good and half as requiring improvement.

The report said "workloads were too high", with an average of 43 cases per officer, compared to 39 nationally.

Chief probation inspector Justin Russell said: "The South East and Eastern Division has some clear strengths especially around leadership, but also shows shortfalls in key areas, in particular high workloads and significant staff shortages."

He added: "Recruiting and retaining probation officers is a long-standing problem, and is exacerbated by the division's proximity to London."

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