Northampton stab victim family's police anger

Louise Webster
Image caption Louise Webster died days after her 40th birthday

The family of a woman who was stabbed to death by her partner have criticised Northamptonshire officers who said they were too busy to attend the incident.

Louise Webster, was later found dead at a house in Roade, near Northampton, on 18 January 2010.

Martin Ashby was jailed for life last week for her murder. Two officers have since been disciplined.

Miss Webster's father, Steve, and sister Caroline Rush said they believed the officers should have been sacked.

On Thursday, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) published the results of an inquiry which found that although the pair were nearby, another officer had to disarm the suspect.

The IPCC concluded the officers would not have been able to save Ms Webster but would have been able to detain Ashby and help those who remained in danger.

'Deeply disturbing'

Mrs Rush said she believed the officers should have lost their jobs, particularly as two children were also in the house at the time.

"We always said he would hurt her one day, and quite seriously, they always had a violent relationship," she said.

Mr Webster added: "They [the officers] did actually apologise to us, but for the loss of Louise, not their actions."

Police had received an emergency call from the house in which screaming and shouting could be heard. Two minutes later it was confirmed someone had been stabbed.

Both officers claimed they were busy on an existing operation and their inspector would not want them to leave.

An officer patrolling alone in the Towcester area responded and arrived 20 minutes after the emergency call had been placed.

In a report, IPCC Commissioner Amerdeep Somal said: "The police work to protect the public and preserve life.

"I find it deeply disturbing that these two officers who were in the immediate vicinity chose to ignore these basic but fundamental principles."

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