Essex

Maria Stubbings inquest should 'expose failings'

  • 9 April 2014
  • From the section Essex
Maria Stubbings
Image caption Maria Stubbings was killed by her ex-boyfriend less than a year after he came out of prison

The brother of a woman murdered by her ex-boyfriend said a "catalogue of failings" needed to be exposed ahead of a hearing into her death.

Maria Stubbings, 50, was strangled with a dog lead by Marc Chivers at her home in Chelmsford, Essex, in December 2008.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has published two critical reports into Essex Police's failures to protect her.

A pre-inquest review into the death is being held in Chelmsford later.

Chivers was jailed for life in 2009 for Ms Stubbings' murder.

He had been freed from a German prison less than a year earlier, after serving 15 years for murdering his then-girlfriend Sabine Rappold.

'Uncover the truth'

The IPCC's most recent report into Ms Stubbings' death said Essex Police had failed to properly assess the risk Chivers presented to her and her son.

Manuel Fernandez, Ms Stubbings' brother, said: "If ever there were a case to be a catalyst for change, it is this one.

"There is such a catalogue of failings that need to exposed and challenged."

Ms Stubbings' daughter Celia Peachey said: "I truly believe that she would still be alive today if the agencies had done their jobs properly."

The charity Refuge said: "We must uncover the truth to understand why Maria and other women and children are still not getting the support and protection they deserve."

Image caption Charity Refuge said it wanted to "uncover the truth" into Ms Stubbings' death
Image caption Marc Chivers had served a jail term in a German prison

The force has also been recently criticised in IPCC reports into the deaths of other domestic violence victims, including the shootings of Christine and Shania Chambers in Braintree in 2011.

Essex Police accepted the findings of the reports.

Chief constable Stephen Kavanagh apologised and said recommendations to improve the service to domestic abuse victims had been followed.

A full inquest is expected to take place later in the year.

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