Dorset

Murdered Katrina O'Hara ‘told police about death threat’

Katrina O'Hara
Image caption Katrina O'Hara was killed at the barber shop where she worked at in Blandford

A woman told police she feared her ex-lover would kill her days before he stabbed her to death, an inquest has heard.

Stuart Thomas was jailed for murdering 44-year-old Katrina O'Hara at the barber shop where she worked in Blandford, Dorset, on 7 January 2016.

A jury inquest into her death heard she told officers Thomas had threatened to kill them both.

He had been detained on suspicion of harassment, but was released on bail.

Bournemouth Coroner's Court heard Ms O'Hara was being "abused, manipulated and coerced" by Thomas, who was married and had "repeatedly lied" that he would leave his wife.

Image copyright Dorset Police
Image caption Stuart Thomas was jailed for life with a minimum term of 26 years

Sgt Adam Aggas said an assessment of the risk Thomas posed was first made on 10 November after officers were called to reports of a fight between the pair.

He said Ms O'Hara had suffered injuries to her lip and elbow after being thrown to the floor, but did not want any police investigation.

However, she made an allegation of harassment against Thomas seven days later.

Sgt Aggas said this was not immediately followed up as she was being treated as a suspect for criminal damage and assault against Thomas in relation to the previous incident - accusations later dropped.

The court heard Ms O'Hara's son called police on 30 December saying he was concerned Thomas was suicidal and posed a risk to his mother.

Sgt Aggas described to jurors how he visited the victim, who told him Thomas had said: "I am going to kill us both - I am going to drive us into a tree."

Asked by the coroner if he felt Thomas's perceived risk level should have been higher earlier, he replied: "It was impossible to say what the risk was... the risk increased over the Christmas period."

The inquest is expected to last three weeks.

Image caption Ms O'Hara was killed at a barbers shop in Blandford

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