Birmingham & Black Country

Wife's stabbing at Wolverhampton home 'was preventable'

The stabbing to death of an Iranian woman by her mentally ill husband in front of their young son could have been prevented, an inquiry has found.

The 36-year-old unnamed victim was attacked in 2011 at the family home in Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton.

A report has revealed agencies worked in isolation and more could have been done to help the family.

Wolverhampton Safer Partnership said it accepted 24 recommendations made by the Domestic Homicide Review Panel.

Post-traumatic stress

On 29 December 2011 the couple's son ran covered in blood to a neighbour, saying his father had killed his mother with a knife.

He said he had pulled his father away from his mother and then his father stabbed himself.

The father, who is awaiting trial, has subsequently been given an indefinite hospital order.

The family came to the UK from Iran in 2008 and claimed asylum upon arrival.

Over the following three years the father was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and tried to kill himself on several occasions. He allegedly threatened to kill his family and made threats he would set fire to a medical centre.

He was detained under the Mental Health Act and arrested after refusing to be admitted to hospital on at least one occasion, the report stated.

The last contact any agency had with the mother was on 22 December when she told mental health workers her husband did not live at their address any more.

She was killed seven days later.

'Constantly' under threat

The report's author, Pete Morgan, said the father's mental health was "unpredictable" and he did not have "a robust package of care" which acknowledged his and his family's cultural background.

He said the mother was "constantly" under threat from her ill husband and also trying to care for her son who was, on occasions, living in fear of his father.

In conclusion, the report stated: "The Domestic Homicide Review Panel agree that the death of [the mother] was preventable, although not, in itself, predictable."

Organisations that submitted details to the inquiry about their involvement with the family include the police, the city council, West Midlands Probation Service, UK Border Agency, West Midlands Ambulance Trust and Royal Wolverhampton Hospital Trust.

Wolverhampton Safer Partnership chairman Simon Warren said: "We would like to express our deep sorrow and regret that a young mother should die in such shocking circumstances.

"It is clear that all three members of this family were vulnerable people, living in a foreign country, removed from close relatives and without a good command of the English language.

"Her death was preventable and a serious injury or harm to either her or her child was predictable."

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