Katrina Makunova: 'Missed opportunities' to help domestic abuse victim

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Katrina MakunovaImage source, Met Police
Image caption,
Katrina Makunova died after she fell on to a kitchen knife which she had in her handbag

A police officer who failed to act upon a teenage abuse victim's claims of harassment before her death has been found guilty of gross incompetence.

Katrina Makunova, 17, died in July 2018 after falling onto a knife during an argument with her ex-partner.

Oluwaseyi Dada, 21, pleaded guilty to her manslaughter and was jailed.

A disciplinary hearing found PC Sophie Dennis made "premature and incorrect" decisions about Ms Makunova prior to her death.

The PC failed to fill out a mandatory risk assessments over a domestic incident involving Ms Makunova on 23 June 2018.

Both PC Dennis and PC Kerry Lynham said they viewed the 2018 incident as "non criminal".

The said no allegation of criminal harassment had been made by Ms Makunova.

But Commander Alison Heydari, chair of the disciplinary panel, said the analysis had been "premature and incorrect."

"The body worn footage shows a course of conduct that amounts to harassment," she said.

Image source, Met Police
Image caption,
Oluwaseyi Dada pleaded guilty to Katrina Makunova's manslaughter

Commander Heydari said this analysis meant investigators missed opportunities to help Ms Makunova.

The panel heard how Ms Makunova had provided the officers with an incorrect date of birth, stating that she was 18, when she was 17.

Those under the age of 18 are legally considered children, which requires a separate safeguarding report -which PC Dennis did not fill out.

The panel concluded that the allegations of gross incompetence were proven against PC Dennis.

They concluded that PC Lynham's conduct was "unsatisfactory" but did not amount to gross incompetence.

PC Lynham was given a written improvement notice for 12 months "to improve and maintain" her conduct.

PC Dennis was given a final written improvement notice for 12 months, meaning a further mistake could warrant a dismissal.

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