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Police 'failed to protect Jeanette': Review into mum's murder highlights failings
A REVIEW into the brutal murder of Jeanette Goodwin by her violent ex-partner has found police failed to check on her despite a call to them on the day of her death.
Mrs Goodwin, 47, was murdered in her home, in Quebec Avenue, Southend, by Martin Bunch, 44, of Southchurch Road, Southend, on July 24, 2011.
Bunch stabbed her more than 20 times and was jailed for 27 years for carrying out the killing.
Now a domestic homicide review by the Southend Community Safety Partnership has revealed numerous failings in the lead up to her death.
Among them is how Mrs Goodwin, a mum-of-three, called officers at 2.30pm on the day of her death to inform them she was being harrassed by Bunch.
She told officers she was going out and arranged for them to check on her at 4.30pm.
However, no checks were made until, at 7.30pm, the panic alarm at her home was activated.
When officers arrived, she was dead.
Other failures were how Bunch was able to break his bail and how information was not shared between agencies.
Christine Doorley, the independent chairman who led the review, said: “The most important lesson to be learnt here is to make sure all information is recorded in real time with no backlog and shared with the right people.
“At any one time there were gaps in the transfer of information.
“The problems were in management of the perpetrator in terms of the criminal justice system.
“Speaking to the family, they felt the justice process had not been right and I agree with them.
“There were mistakes with the technical knowledge and understandings of bail, bail conditions and options around sentencing.
“He did not fulfil any of his sentences and was never brought back to court for those issues.
“The family feel let down. There is evidence that process didn’t work as it should have.”
Bunch was known to the police and had 79 convictions and a history of mental health needs and drug and alcohol abuse.
Mrs Goodwin first reported him to police in January 2011 after she received two black eyes. She reported he had threatened her and she ended their relationship.
Police identified her as being at high risk of domestic abuse and her case was correctly referred to the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference.
There were numerous charges brought against Bunch in the following months concerning Mrs Goodwin and other victims.
However, a prosecution failed when, grieving for her late father, Mrs Goodwin felt unable and too fearful to give evidence in court.
Things worsened from May 2011 when, in a six-week period, Mrs Goodwin received 255 phone calls and 79 texts from Bunch.
He appeared at Southend Magistrates’ Court charged with harrassment on July 22, 2011, and was released on conditional bail before a trial on August 17.
Just two days later, he killed Mrs Goodwin in her home.
Murderer – Martin Bunch had 79 convictions, history of mental health problems and substance abuse
Police up response to domestic abuse
ESSEX Police has pledged victims of domestic abuse will be listened to and helped.
The force says it welcomes the report into the murder of Jeanette Goodwin and is already making improvements, which it says will all be complete by the end of the month.
Among the many improvements police say they have made is the setting up of a new domestic abuse crime unit at Southend police station to provide a dedicated response for all domestic abuse cases.
Other measures include:
- Daily reviews of all domestic abuse incidents and crimes
- Regular meetings about how to improve outcomes for victims, chaired by the chief constable
- Developing a joint initiative with Southend Council to bring a specially-trained domestic abuse police officer and a social worker together to assess domestic abuse incidents as they are reported.
Chief Supt Luke Collison said: “Much has changed since the victim’s tragic death and work continues to improve the consistency and co-ordination of our response to domestic abuse.
“There is a lot being done, both inside the force, and with partners. Domestic abuse is one of the biggest challenges we face.
“Every day we deal with an average of 80 incidents, each one quite rightly demanding a professional and effective response.
“Essex Police rightly dedicates significant resources to tackling this issue and our commitment to meeting this demand and keeping vulnerable people safe is unequivocal.
“Together with our partners we remain committed to helping victims of domestic abuse and we would urge anyone suffering at the hands of a violent offender to contact us immediately. Our pledge is this: ‘We will listen to you and we will help you’.”
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