Two Scotland Yard sergeants and three constables are being investigated after a 17-year-old was killed despite contacting police five times to report her boyfriend’s abusive behaviour.
The teenage trainee hairdresser reported Oluwaseyi Dada, 21, of assault and harassment on five occasions between February and June of 2018.
Katrina Makunova was killed 24 hours after she told her family that she was breaking up with him. She was killed on 12 July last year during a dispute in the foyer of Dada’s Camberwell flat. She fell on her handbag, which contained a knife that punctured her chest, according to police.
Last week, Dada pleaded guilty to manslaughter at Southwark crown court and will be sentenced on January 29.
The victim’s family are upset that Dada isn’t being charged with murder, saying they are “appalled and ashamed at the way the Metropolitan Police has handled this case”.
The victim’s brother, Julius Makunova, said the family didn’t know the extent of Dada’s control over Katrina until after her death, when he started looking into what had happened by studying her messages and social-media accounts, and speaking to her friends.
One time we called the police because he was threatening to kill Katrina because he thought she had been speaking to other boys. She told me in [Romanian] not to say anything because he had a machete in his trousers
“One time we called the police because he was threatening to kill Katrina because he thought she had been speaking to other boys. She told me in [Romanian] not to say anything because he had a machete in his trousers.”
The two had met when Katrina was 15 and Dada had just been released from a 30-month custodial sentence for dealing heroin and crack cocaine in Norwich.
Dada, who had links with a pioneering drill rap crew called 67, once once threw Katrina out of his flat naked and left her to get a cab home. Mr Makunova said that Dada also paid a friend to follow her to see who she was meeting. He also sent messages seemingly from Katrina to other men to try and trick them into saying that she was unfaithful.
Makunova said that he discovered a picture of his sister with a bruised face after she was attacked by Dada. He found another of her asleep in her underwear, which he had sent to three other men. “The day before she died she told me, ‘I don’t love him but he is very possessive’,” he said.
This is not the only time that police have failed victims of domestic violence. Last year, we reported on Charlotte Brooks’ story. Craig Thomas repeatedly beat Rooks with hammers, made her sleep naked standing up and forced her to eat pictures of loved ones who had passed away.
It was said that her case was one of the worst cases of domestic abuse ever seen in Wales. Despite police twice visiting the property where Rooks was held to investigate alleged abuse, nothing was done.
North Yorkshire police fail to record an estimated 9,200 reported crimes each year, including sexual offences, domestic abuse and rape. In one harrowing case, they cancelled a report from a victim who had been suffering from mental illness and she went on to be attacked again by the same man.
Domestic violence – in all its forms – affects one in four women in England and Wales, and kills on average two women a week. It’s time that police take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of those they are employed to protect – especially our most vulnerable citizens.