In the Media

Police failed mother beaten to death in front of toddler, report finds

PUBLISHED October 18, 2011

IPCC criticises Nottinghamshire force's handling of domestic violence in its inquiry into the death of Casey Brittle A young mother was beaten to death by her violent former partner after police failed to intervene 11 times, investigators have said. Casey Brittle, 21, repeatedly called Nottinghamshire police before she was murdered by Sanchez Williams in front of her two-year-old daughter. Amerdeep Somal, a commissioner at the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), said Williams, from Nottingham, was "well-known to local police for his propensity for violence and threatening behaviour". Somal said: "In this case it is clear that a number of officers failed to perform to the level expected of them and basic actions, that may have helped others see the full picture of her suffering, were not completed. "No consideration was given to why Casey was reporting domestic abuse but then subsequently saying that she did not want police help." Brittle died from injuries to her head in October last year. Her injuries included a fractured jaw. Williams was jailed for life after he admitted murdering Casey at her home. Police received allegations of domestic violence and abuse against Brittle between September 2008 and August 2010. The police watchdog recorded a number of force and individual errors. An IPCC spokesman said: "As a consequence of the investigation, six officers faced misconduct for their roles in three incidents, while a further four officers have been dealt with through unsatisfactory performance procedures. "Aside from failures by individual officers, the investigation identified the lack of a thorough corporate approach to domestic abuse from Nottinghamshire police. "This resulted in a lack of knowledge and support for officers in their attempts to provide victims with the necessary support." Brittle's mother, Victoria Blower, refused to blame police as the report was published. "I know mistakes were made in dealing with previous attacks involving Casey, but there is only one person responsible for my daughter's death and that is Sanchez Williams," she said. "Maybe one small change in the way things were handled could have saved her, or maybe Sanchez Williams was a time bomb just waiting to explode and nothing that anybody could have said or done was ever going to prevent him from murdering Casey." Brittle's daughter was heard crying and screaming as her mother was beaten to death. The little girl walked into the room four times to find her father carrying out the attack. A neighbour was said to have heard Brittle's daughter screaming: "I want my mummy," as her father carried out the killing. As her mother lay unconscious after the attack, the little girl stayed in the bedroom on her own for two hours. Blower said she hoped lessons would be learned after the "worst day" of her life. In her statement, she said: "Nottinghamshire police have taken positive action since Casey's death and I am glad to have been involved in their work to improve the handling of incidents of domestic violence. "Although there is no way of knowing whether Casey could have been saved, I sincerely hope that in the future a better attitude towards women at risk will ensure their safety. "I would also urge people not to close their own eyes and ears if they see or hear somebody experiencing domestic abuse, but to pick up the phone and call the police. "You never know, it might be your call that saves a person's life. It is too late for my beautiful bubbly girl, but don't let it be your daughter, neighbour or friend who is next." Domestic violence Crime Police Independent Police Complaints Commission Women © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds