North East Wales

Murdered Mold woman's 999 call to be reviewed

Karen Catherall Image copyright Family photo via north wales police
Image caption Ms Catherall was described as a loving mother, daughter, sister, aunty and friend

The management of a 999 call made by a woman murdered by a man she met on a dating website is being reviewed at her family's request.

Karen Catherall, 45, met Darren Jeffreys, 47, on Plenty of Fish three weeks before he killed her.

She was found strangled and with head injuries at her home near Mold.

BT said its handlers acted in line with police guidance not to pass on calls where there is "nothing to indicate there is any problem".

Jeffreys, from Mold, admitted murdering the mother-of-two on 13 September after they returned from the pub, and was jailed for life in February.

Her family have since been told by police that Ms Catherall made a 999 call which went through to BT to deal with just after she returned home.

But the call was disconnected after around 13 seconds and police were not informed.

Detectives later enhanced the call and discovered arguing could be heard.

Image copyright via Facebook
Image caption Jeffreys called the emergency services and said he could not wake his girlfriend

Her mother, Glenys Keir, 74, said: "Apparently the person who picked up believed there was silence at the end of the line. They must have assumed 999 had been dialled accidentally.

"It doesn't bear thinking about what might have happened if BT had connected the call to the police."

Her sister, Lorraine, said: "You regularly hear of toddlers playing with their mum's mobile phone and ringing the emergency services by mistake.

"In those instances, the police often seem to trace the call and turn up on the doorstep.

"We want to know why that didn't happen when in this situation Karen so desperately needed their help."

Detective Inspector Mark Hughes, of North Wales Police, said: "The phone call was received by the telephone company operator and managed in accordance with their policy but not directed onto North Wales Police, nor in fact any police force.

"I understand the circumstances surrounding the management of this phone call are now being reviewed by the telephone company following a request by Karen's family."

A BT said North Wales Police contacted them on September 24, 2014 about whether we received an emergency call from a mobile phone number and they were provided with full details including a call recording.

A spokesperson added: "There was no response to our operator's questioning and our operator heard nothing to indicate there was any problem before the caller ended the call after about 13 seconds.

"Police forces have requested that we do not connect such calls to them and our operator correctly followed the call handling process requested by the police."

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