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February 5th 2020

Inquests

Inquest continues into death of Katrina O’Hara

Vicky Richardson

Vicky Richardson

Manager, Civil Liberties

Inquest continues into death of Katrina O’Hara

The jury inquest into the death of murdered hairdresser, Katrina O’Hara, is continuing at Bournemouth Town Hall. Victoria Richardson and Alexandra Eldon of Hudgell Solicitors are acting on behalf of the family.

The jury inquest into the death of murdered hairdresser, Katrina O’Hara, is continuing at Bournemouth Town Hall. Victoria Richardson and Alexandra Eldon of Hudgell Solicitors are acting on behalf of the family.

Katrina, 44, was murdered by Stuart Thomas on 7 January 2016 at her hair salon in Blandford Forum, Dorset. Thomas was later convicted of her murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 26 years in August 2016.

On Tuesday the coroner, Mr Brendan Allen, heard from police Sargeant Adam Aggas who had contact with Katrina in the run up to her death. According to a BBC News report, Sgt Aggas said an assessment of the risk Thomas posed was first made on 10 November 2015 after officers were called to reports of a fight between Katrina and Thomas.

He went on to give evidence that Katrina had suffered injuries to her lip and elbow after being thrown to the floor, but did not want the police to investigate. However, she made an allegation of harassment against Thomas seven days later.

Sgt Aggas said this was not immediately followed up as she was being treated as a suspect for criminal damage and assault against Thomas in relation to the previous incident – accusations later dropped.

The court heard Ms O’Hara’s son called police on 30 December saying he was concerned Thomas was suicidal and posed a risk to his mother.

Sgt Aggas talked about how he visited Katrina, who told him Thomas had said: “I am going to kill us both – I am going to drive us into a tree.”

The coroner asked Sgt Aggas if he felt Thomas’s perceived risk level should have been higher earlier, he replied: “It was impossible to say what the risk was… the risk increased over the Christmas period.”

The inquest continues and the coroner will hear from several witnesses including Katrina’s 20-year-old daughter Morgan O’Hara.

Prior to the inquest opening on Monday, Katrina’s family issued a statement via Hudgells in which they urged people experiencing domestic violence to ‘…speak out and seek help’.

The inquest is listed for four weeks.

Hudgell Solicitors have instructed Chris Williams of Garden Court Chambers.

 

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