Police missed the warning signs before violent attack

Police missed the warning signs before violent attack

A report has said police failed to protect a woman from an obsessive ex-partner who subjected her to months of threats before he stabbed her.

Simon Lockton knifed the mother of two five times – in the legs and abdomen – in front of horrified children and parents outside Greenfield Primary School, Countesthorpe, in April last year.

He then bundled her into the footwell of her car and sped away, depriving her of medical attention for at least 40 minutes, before she was taken to a police station.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) yesterday said officers should have spotted that Lockton, who has since been jailed for the attack, had repeatedly harassed the woman.

IPCC Commissioner Amerdeep Somal said the relevant information had been available on the force’s computer system, to which all of the officers had access.

She said: “All of the warning signs were there.

“The repetitive nature of his recent conduct towards her was clear and unequivocal and she should have been identified as high risk.

“Far greater concern should have been shown for her welfare. However, it is impossible to say with certainty that police intervention would definitely have prevented the attack at the end of April.”

The woman was treated in hospital and later discharged.

It was not clear yesterday how she is now.

The IPCC’s investigation examined 10 incidents of harassment, beginning in July 2008, which were all reported to Leicestershire police.

In April 2009, Lockton, of Elston Fields, Saffron Lane, Leicester, was given a formal warning for harassment. He apparently left the woman alone for a year but began targeting her again several days before the knife attack.

The IPCC found he then sent her text messages telling her she was being watched, appeared in her or a neighbour’s garden and threw stones at her house.

Less than 48 hours before the stabbing, he was arrested in her garden and bailed by police.

However, officers dealt with each incident in “relative isolation” and failed to spot the historical pattern of abuse, the IPCC said.

They also failed to take account of the fact he had served a prison sentence, in 2007, for offences against another former partner.

If she had been deemed a higher risk, the victim could have received a greater degree of protection and officers may not have bailed Lockton.

As a result of the IPCC investigation, six officers have been singled out for failing the woman and have had to demonstrate to their senior officers that they would not repeat the same mistakes.

Two of them face disciplinary action.

Leicestershire’s Deputy Chief Constable David Evans said: “We fully accept the findings of the IPCC report.

“We are extremely sorry that the performance of a number of our officers involved in this case fell short of what we, and the public, expect of them.”

Lockton was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection in November last year after he admitted wounding with intent and kidnap.

I say.

How many more times will the Police fail to act and safeguard vulnerable Adults and their children?
With the recent failures surrounding the Pilington tragedy, it just shows very little is learned from past experiance.
Also there must be a very grave concern for the Children involved in this case, i wonder if Social Services have turned their backs as well?
Alison Stevens Parents Against Injustice., Leicester

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