Lancashire police 'could have done better' over missing Preston mum later found dead

Victoria Cherry
Victoria Cherry
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Lancashire police have admitted "things could have been done better" after a Domestic Homicide Review into the death of Preston mum Victoria Cherry.

In January 2017, Victoria's body was found in a boiler cupboard in a house in Bolton that she shared with her partner Andrew Reade.

Her family had not been in contact with her for over a year and had reported her as a missing person to Lancashire Constabulary.

A post mortem concluded that death may have occurred approximately a year and a half prior to the discovery of her body.

It is believed she died shortly after she was last seen on October 6 2015 when she would have been 43 years old.

Reade was arrested on suspicion of murdering the Fulwood mother but there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him.

He was charged with preventing the lawful burial of a body and perverting the course of justice.

In June 2017, Reade was convicted of these offences at Bolton Crown Court and sentenced to four years and four months imprisonment.

Be Safe Bolton Strategic Partnership decided to conduct a Domestic Homicide Review regarding the case.

Today the report was published and found that communication between the agencies involved and Lancashire and Greater Manchester Police should have been better and lessons could be learned from the tragedy.

It found that the early stages of the missing person enquiry were "handled unsatisfactorily" by Lancashire police.

And it recommended that the Be Safe Bolton Strategic Partnership share the DHR report with the relevant Community Safety Partnership in Lancashire.

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Gladwin, of Lancashire Police’s Public Protection Unit, said: “First and foremost our thoughts remain with the family in this tragic case.

“We welcome the review and we participated fully with it as part of our commitment to learning and improving in any way we can to protect victims of domestic abuse.

“We recognise there are things that could have been done better in this case and we have introduced a comprehensive action plan to implement the recommendations and we will ensure that we continue to work together with our partners to minimise risks to victims of domestic abuse.”

Chief Supt Stuart Ellison, Chairman of Be Safe Bolton Strategic Partnership, said: “This is a very tragic case and on behalf of the partnership, I would like to express our sincere condolences to the family.

“We commissioned the review to see if there were any lessons to be learned to improve the way we work together to protect victims of domestic abuse.

“The panel’s findings and recommendations have been shared with all the agencies involved in the review. Clearly there are things that could have been done better.

“Be Safe has developed a comprehensive action plan to implement the recommendations and we will ensure that we continue to work together with our partners to minimise risks to victims of domestic abuse.”