Following today’s publication of an IOPC report (the Independent Office for Police Conduct, formerly the IPCC) and a Domestic Homicide Review into their Mother’s death, the family of murdered hairdresser, Katrina O’Hara, have issued the following statement via their solicitors, Hudgell.
Kyle Stark (27), Dean Stark (25) and 18-year-old, Morgan O’Hara, say:
“We are deeply upset by the failings identified in both the IOPC report and the Domestic Homicide Review. For us, they highlight that our Mother’s death could have been prevented and this only makes our grief even harder to bear.
“Our faith in policing has been shaken to the core, and of course we’re disappointed that Dorset Police haven’t taken stronger action against the officers involved, but we’re speaking out not to criticise the police, but to call for change in how all police forces and other agencies handle domestic abuse.
“We’re victims of police cuts. Every force needs to have the funding to be able to deliver the right training to all officers and support staff, and to then assess how effective that training actually is, otherwise there will be more avoidable deaths.
“Unfortunately, our Mother’s case is not unique and our only hope is that her death will serve as a wake-up call to the government and police forces across the country to not brush domestic violence issues under the carpet. As a family we would like to urge anyone going through domestic abuse to speak out and seek help.
“Finally, and most importantly, our whole family want to pay tribute to a beautiful Mum, daughter, sister and grandmother: We will always remember and be grateful for the care and love she showed us every day; her devotion to her three grandchildren and her warm and wonderful smile. We’re proud that she was seen as a pillar of the community who would readily offer help to anyone who needed it. Most of all, she was everything a Mum should be. We love and miss you, Mum and always will.”
Karl Griffin, a legal advisor at Hudgell Solicitors is acting on behalf of the family and says: “I welcome the findings of the IOPC report, which has been extremely thorough, although I share the family’s disappointment that no further action has been taken against the officers involved. Our clients plan to take their time now to digest the findings of both reports. It is hugely important that Dorset Police learn lessons from Katrina’s death.”