Norwich MP vows to highlight tragic Kerri McAuley case with new domestic violence minister

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

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

A Norwich MP has vowed to ensure the new domestic violence minister comes to Norwich to find out more about the brutal murder of Kerri McAuley at the hands of a serial abuser.

Chloe Smith, Norwich North MP, has been working to see if more can be done to tackle the problem of domestic violence, including changes to the law to target violent offenders.

It follows the death of one of Ms McAuley, one of her constituents, who was found dead at her home in Southalls Way, Norwich, on January 8 this year.

The 32-year-old had been the victim of a 'sustained and brutal' attack by her on-off partner Joe Storey who was jailed for 24 years after being convicted of her murder.

During Storey's trial, it also emerged he had a history of violence not only towards Ms McAuley, but other women too.

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Miss Smith raised Ms McAuley's story to Sarah Newton MP – parliamentary under secretary of state for crime, safeguarding and vulnerability – in the hope lessons can be learned and safeguards can be put in place in the government's new Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill.

The minister had agreed to come to Norwich to find out more about the case and see what more could be done,

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But following a mini-reshuffle by prime minister Theresa May, Victoria Atkins, a qualified criminal barrister, takes up the position.

Miss Smith said she would now be looking for the Louth MP to come to Norwich to find out more about the case.

She said: 'I've already got a promise from the outgoing minister that she would be coming to Norwich and I will be making sure the new minister is fully briefed and knows how important the Kerri McAuley case is and that we feel very passionately that there are lessons that can be learned and ways the laws can be improved.'

It comes as Miss Smith met with Norfolk's police and crime commissioner Lorne Green to discuss the case and what more can be done to tackle domestic abuse.

Mr Green said he stressed to the city MP that domestic abuse was a 'really important priority' for both him and his office which is why they contributed around £500,000 a year towards supporting organisations which tackle the problem.

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