16th April 2020 – the world was locked down, in the early hours of the morning the police were called to speak to Denise about the revenge porn her estranged husband had posted. The officers took their notes and left at 1:30 – if only they’d done a quick search of the garden!
An hour later Denise had been doused in petrol and set on fire, she was rushed to hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Her estranged husband admitted in court to being controlling and jealous, he maintained that he hadn’t meant to kill her, even though a voice note he’d left her the evening before said “I really hope you suffer and die.”
His internet searched showed that he’d been searching for what is the best way to use a knife and kill someone, along with insanity in English law and cases where the insanity defence worked!
What frustrates me so much about this is it could all have been prevented if a police officer had done her job properly.
Denise first reported her ex in January 2020 for domestic abuse.
The officer involved cancelled interviews with Denise’s ex three times – she never spoke to him at all and then closed the case on April 6th, just 10 days before he took Denises life.
The officer involved in this case has lost her job, in the words of the IOPC for a shocking dereliction of duty. This officer failed Denise and Denises family, this happens way too often, she should have done more and taken Denises allegations seriously. She should have followed the reasonable lines of enquiry which her supervisor had set then maybe Denise would still be here today.
There is a perception that black women are strong and don’t need as much support, this is so WRONG.
We need the same amount of support as white women. We need to be seen and heard from a humanity stand point!
From my own experiences of dealing with the police for a personal matter if I was upset and emotional I had mental health issues, if I was calm and dealing with it I didn’t need support, I was damned either way.
My career has come full circle after leaving the DA, I’m working with a charity in London empowering woman & girls who are victims & survivors of domestic abuse to live better lives, in safety and learn to go from being a victim, to a survivor and find their true voice.