Leicester

Meera Dalal suicide: Mum still seeking answers over daughter's death

Meera Dalal Image copyright Dalal family
Image caption Meera Dalal "suffered emotional and physical abuse", her inquest heard

A mother is still trying to get answers about the circumstances surrounding her daughter's death - two years after she killed herself.

An inquest heard that Meera Dalal took her own life on 15 February 2016 after abuse by her ex-boyfriend, but he has never been charged with any offences.

Her mother has repeatedly asked police to disclose their evidence so she can consider a private prosecution.

However, police said they cannot release it as an inquiry is under way.

Daksha Dalal believes police let her daughter down and are now letting her family down too.

Image caption Daksha Dalal said she feels "totally broken"

"It's her second anniversary so I'm totally broken as it is anyway and they are not helping me," said Mrs Dalal.

"I feel totally let down. Meera would have been here if it wasn't for their failure, because she used to keep going there.

"It's police failure from the word 'go'. They should have spotted the signs, that she needed help, but they didn't."

A inquest into Miss Dalal's death was held in May 2017 and the coroner concluded she died as a result of suicide.

Statements read out at the documentary inquest - where there are no live witnesses - said Miss Dalal had been physically and emotionally abused by her ex-boyfriend.

However, Leicestershire Police has further evidence - including audio of phone calls Miss Dalal made to police and video footage of two of the incidents - and the family has been asking since June 2017 for this to be disclosed to them.

Image copyright Dalal family
Image caption Meera Dalal's father said "everybody loved her so much and she loved everybody"

Leicestershire Police said in a statement: "Following a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Meera Dalal, who died on 15 February 2016, police found no evidence to warrant a prosecution being brought by the CPS.

"We can't disclose the information [that Mrs Dalal has asked for] because an Appreciative Inquiry is still ongoing."

The inquiry is "multi-agency" but is being led by Charnwood Community Safety Partnership.

"We are currently conducting an Appreciative Inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Meera Dalal," it said in a statement.

"The review seeks to identify if there are any lessons that can be learned to avoid a similar event in the future.

"The review is still on-going, so we're unable to comment further at this point."

Image copyright Dalal Family
Image caption A coroner concluded that Meera Dalal died as a result of suicide

Miss Dalal had sought help from doctors and a report from her GP was read out as evidence at the inquest in Loughborough.

Assistant coroner Carolyn Hull said: "She was seen by one of the doctors and told the doctor she had recently ended her three-year relationship, during which she suffered emotional and physical abuse.

"She said she had moved back to be with her family and her family were being very supportive."

The GP report said she was given treatment in hospital on one occasion, "having been the subject of domestic violence".

The BBC has previously asked Miss Dalal's ex-boyfriend for a response through his solicitors but they declined to comment.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Leicestershire Police said they carried out a "thorough investigation"

Miss Dalal's family made a complaint to Leicestershire Police following her death and the force was investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) - now called the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

The 50-page investigation report, seen by the BBC, contains a catalogue of police incidents involving Miss Dalal and her boyfriend dating back to December 2013.

The IPCC investigated the conduct of four police officers after the investigator "determined there was an indication that four police officers may have behaved in a manner which would justify the bringing of disciplinary proceedings".

'Insufficient evidence'

However, no action was taken against any of the officers.

The IPCC said: "On the basis of the evidence available, and at the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator formed the opinion that there was insufficient evidence upon which a reasonable misconduct meeting could find that any of the officers had breached the Standards of Professional Behaviour, Duties and Responsibilities."

If you are affected by any of the topics in this article, the Samaritans can be contacted free on 116 123 or through their website.

To discuss an East Midlands story idea, contact caroline.lowbridge@bbc.co.uk.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites