Katrina Makunova: Two police officers accused of gross incompetence over ‘failures to act on teenager’s harassment claims’

Josh Salisbury (01 September, 2020)

Katrina was killed in a confrontation with her boyfriend just weeks after making the claims to police

23583Katrina Makunova, who died aged 17

Two police officers are facing a gross incompetence hearing over claims they failed to act on a teenager’s complaints of harassment and domestic abuse. 

Seventeen-year-old Katrina Makunova was later killed in a confrontation with her boyfriend in Camberwell, weeks after making the reports to police.

She was tragically stabbed in the heart after falling on a knife concealed in her own handbag in a confrontation with Oluwaseyi Dada in 2018.

Dada, then aged 21, confessed to manslaughter and was jailed for just two years and three months in January 2019.

The two officers, PCs Kerry Lynham and Sophie Dennis, will face a two-day gross incompetence hearing on September 8 to answer questions of how they dealt with the teenager’s harassment reports.

They have been accused, at an address in Forest Hill and at Lewisham Police station on June 23 2018, of:

  • Failing to acknowledge a member of the public was reporting criminal allegations of Harassment and offences under the public order act
  • Failing to take positive action as a result of the allegation
  • Failing to complete risk assessments relating to a vulnerable victim of domestic abuse
  • Failing to safeguard Katrina by not completing a report for a database which stores details of the contact minors have had with police

PC Dennis is also accused of providing false and misleading information on a crime report in relation to Katrina.

It is said the officer wrongly noted that the seventeen-year-old refused to make a statement, when she had not been asked; said Katrina had refused to answer questions; and also wrongly said the officer had completed a risk assessment when she had not.

A trial after Katrina’s death had heard how Katrina’s former boyfriend, Oluwaseyi Dada, was said to have exchanged threatening texts with the teen prior to a confrontation on Camberwell’s Brisbane Street.

Katrina had brought a knife because she expected the argument to be so serious, the court heard, in a case which the presiding judge described as “extraordinary.”

“The kitchen knife that caused her death was hers and had, it seems, been brought to the scene by her in a handbag you had given her,” judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith told Dada during sentencing.

“It appears that somehow in the struggle between you and her, the blade of the knife was pushed through the bag from the inside and tragically pierced her chest and heart.

“There is no evidence that you ever touched it before she received her fatal injury.”

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