Stoke & Staffordshire

Samantha Laney murder: Staffordshire Police's conduct investigated

Samantha Laney
Image caption Samantha Laney had recently split from her boyfriend

The conduct of officers ahead of the murder of a 19-year-old woman is being investigated by the police watchdog.

Samantha Laney asked Staffordshire Police for an escort after her ex-boyfriend Thomas Dalton threatened to kill her, Stafford Crown Court heard.

Hours later she was stabbed to death by Dalton, also 19, at her father's home. Dalton was jailed for life on Thursday.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating Ms Laney's prior contact with police.

The two-week trial heard Dalton, of Attwood Street, Kidsgrove, Staffordshire, was angry and frustrated by the end of their relationship.

Prosecuting lawyer Philip Bennetts QC had told the court Ms Laney phoned officers asking for a police escort so she could pick up her belongings from the Kidsgrove flat she had shared with Dalton.

However she was told there were not enough officers available, Mr Bennetts said.

'Very sad'

Dalton later cycled about 10 miles (16km) to the home of Ms Laney's father in Clayton and stabbed his former girlfriend in the back with a 6in (15cm) knife.

Dalton was sentenced to life, with a minimum term of 21 years. He was found not guilty of attempting to murder Ms Laney's father Steven.

Image caption Thomas Dalton cycled to the home of Samantha Laney's father armed with a knife

Det Insp Glynn Pattinson said: "There was previous contact with the police and, as is quite right, that matter has been voluntarily referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission who are currently investigating those circumstances."

The IPCC said it had asked Staffordshire Police's professional standards department to carry out a supervised investigation, which is ongoing. It means the watchdog has agreed the terms of reference of the inquiry.

Det Insp Pattinson added that his thoughts were with Ms Laney's friends and family.

"It's a very sad case involving two 19-year-olds which ultimately led to the tragic stabbing of Samantha in front of her friends and family," he said.

"The consequences of the impact of his [Dalton's] actions have affected a lot of people."

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