Met police apologise for officers ‘failing’ teen who was killed in confrontation with her ex-boyfriend

Josh Salisbury (10 September, 2020)

Katrina was killed by falling on a knife during a confrontation with her ex boyfriend in Camberwell

23583Katrina Makunova, who died aged 17

The Met Police have apologised for “failings” in handling a teen’s domestic abuse claims.

The seventeen-year-old, Katrina Makunova, was later killed in a confrontation with her ex-boyfriend, about whom she had made the claims.

Two PCs, Kerry Lynham and Sophie Dennis, were made to answer allegations of gross incompetence in front of a disciplinary committee about their interactions with Katrina before her death.

The teen tragically died after falling on a knife concealed in her handbag while in a confrontation with ex-partner Oluwaseyi Dada at a Camberwell block of flats in July 2018.

Dada, then 21, was later convicted of manslaughter and jailed.

Police had attended Miss Makunova’s home in Forest Hill just weeks before her death, where she told them Dada had confronted her outside the house that evening. 

She also told them of other interactions with him which led her to believe he might harm her.

It was claimed officers failed to acknowledge she was reporting allegations of harassment and other offences and take action. 

They also did not allegedly complete the necessary risk assessments relating to a domestic abuse victim, while PC Dennis was accused of providing misleading information on a crime report saying Katrina had refused to answer questions. She had in fact not been asked.

The pair referred Katrina to a local domestic abuse support charity and suggested she take out a restraining order against Dada.

Gross incompetence for all of the allegations against PC Dennis were upheld at a hearing on Wednesday. 

Unsatisfactory performance was proven for PC Lynham for failing to acknowledge the allegations made by Katrina and then taking action. Claims that she did not complete risk assessments were not proven.

Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House said: “We expect all our officers to take allegations of domestic abuse extremely seriously and follow proper procedures to safeguard victims.

“We join policing to protect people like Miss Makunova and I am deeply ashamed that these officers failed her. My thoughts are with Miss Makunova’s family and friends.”

PC Dennis was given a final written improvement notice and PC Lynham a written improvement notice.

An Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation found failings in the action of ten other officers, ranging in rank from PC and detective sergeant, in relation to their dealings with Katrina.

These included investigating her allegations, safeguarding her as a child and supervising the work of other officers as they dealt with her matters.

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