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Lie detector test could have saved my daughter, says murder victim’s mum

PUBLISHED: 13:03 04 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:04 04 March 2020

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 brutally murdered in her own home by a serial abuser said her daughter might still be alive today if compulsory lie detector tests on high-risk offenders had been in place at the time.

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

Kerri McAuley, a 32-year-old mother-of-two. was beaten to death in her flat in Southalls Way, Norwich, by abusive former partner Joe Storey in January 2017.

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.

Proposals of the long-awaited Domestic Violence Bill include that offenders in England and Wales could face compulsory lie detector tests when released from prison, meaning that those deemed at high risk of re-offending will be given regular polygraph tests to find out if they have breached release conditions.

Kerri's mother Lesley, 56, has backed the proposals and said had they been around at the time of her daughter's death, she might not have died.

Norwich man, Joe Storey. Photo: Norfolk ConstabularyNorwich man, Joe Storey. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

She said: "A lie detector test could've saved my daughter and stopped Joe Storey.

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"I do think it would've made a difference. If he had been made to do a lie detector test he would've been caught out because he was telling all these lies and it could've helped save my daughter."

The Bill will also specify that controlling a victim's finances can count as abuse while alleged abusers will also be banned from cross-examining victims in court.

Mrs McAuley said she hoped the Bill would become law in a bid to help "stop these predators and somehow save all these people's lives".

She is still struggling to come to terms with her daughter's murder and said she feels like "he (Storey) killed me".

She said: "For her to meet a monster like that...it's every parent's worst nightmare. I live it every day and will live it for the rest of my life."

If the Bill passes, a three-year pilot will be carried out on domestic abusers deemed at high-risk of causing serious harm and if successful could be rolled out nationwide.

Storey was jailed for a minimum of 24 years in June 2017 after being convicted of murder.


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