Peer: Mum's killer collected restraining orders like 'badge of honour'
- Credit: McAuley Family
The family of a woman murdered by a serial abuser in Norwich has welcomed the progress of a bill tackling domestic abuse, but said more needs to be done to tackle underlying causes.
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.
Now Ms McAuley’s tragic case has been raised in the House of Lords as peers debate amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill, which aims to strengthen protection for victims.
An amendment passed in the Lords will see domestic abusers and stalkers included on the violent and sex offender registers for the first time, with increased supervision and monitoring.
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon brought forward the amendment, saying: “The disappearance and murder of Sarah Everard highlights yet again the fear and reality of male violence for all women.
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“The one thing that unites all women is the fear of male violence.”
Lord Russell of Liverpool described Storey as collecting restraining orders against his partners “like a badge of honour” and said there was no excuse for a system that tolerated results like Ms McAuley.
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Steve Roberts, Ms McAuley’s uncle, said the family supported the domestic abuse bill, but that more was needed to tackle the systemic issues.
“We want the bill to protect people like Kerri. We know 207 women have been killed in the last 12 months and now that will include Sarah Everard - 70pc of them were killed in their own homes.
“In the four years since Kerri was killed those figures haven't gone down. Women murdered in their homes by people who are meant to love them.”
Mr Roberts said he wants to see more done to tackle drink and drug abuse that could lead to domestic violence and to look at how other countries were addressing the issue.
"We need equality, we need respect. Longer sentencing will at least give women a chance to distance themselves and rebuild their lives.”
The bill, including the amendment, will go back to the House of Commons, where it can be agreed or rejected.