Case: Stabbed to death in Bow: Lucinda Port
Victim
Name:
Lucinda Port
Gender:
Female
Date:
2011-04-24
Nationality:
British
Weapon:
Knife
Killer
Case unsolved
Status: Solved
Categories: Uncategorised
Case synopsis:

Lucinda Port, 29, was found stabbed to death at her home in Bow, east London, on April 26, 2011.

An inquest later concluded she had been killed by her former partner Paul Wright, 31.

At the time of the attack Wright was on bail for an alleged assault on condition he did not attend her address.

On April 17 a friend of Lucinda Port dialled 999 twice at around 12pm and 1pm to report that Wright was in breach of his bail conditions. 

Wright left the house before police arrived but the officers failed to submit a report which would have resulted in him being listed as wanted.

Seven days later on 24 April Wright was found hanging at Weavers Fields in Bethnal Green Road, Bethnal Green, at around 6.30pm.

An inquest at Poplar Coroner's Court concluded he had taken his own life while suffering from a depressive illness.

When police went to Ms Port's address at Brymay Close at 6.45am on 26 April, they found her with multiple stab wounds. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Metropolitan Police Service referred the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission because of the previous contact with police.

On 15 March 2013 an inquest jury at St Pancras Coroner’s Court concluded that Miss Port was unlawfully killed and died from a stab wound to the chest.

In a narrative verdict the jury stated: "We do not think that the recording and processing of the third party's breach of bail was adequate. We feel this was a major contributing factor in the death of Lucinda Port."

The IPCC released a statement highlighting failings by two police officers and a member of police staff in relation to the case.

The IPCC found that a female police constable had a case to answer for gross misconduct for failing to submit her Evidence and Actions Book (EAB) containing a statement from Miss Port to the Community Safety Unit which would have resulted in Mr Wright being circulated as wanted for breach of bail. The book was found in the officer’s locker along with a number of other completed and partially completed EABs as well as three specialist domestic violence action books relating to other crimes.

The officer had informed her colleague, a male police constable who also went to Miss Port’s house, that she would submit the EAB. He updated the Crime Recording Information System (CRIS) report to this effect believing that this had been done. The IPCC found that he had a case to answer for misconduct for failing to ensure that the information he input into CRIS was correct. Rather than creating a new report for the incident at Miss Port’s home, the IPCC found that the police constable had updated a closed CRIS report for the original assault for which Mr Wright was on court bail.

The investigation also found that a member of police staff had a case to answer for misconduct for failing to deal appropriately with the closed CRIS report. Under the CRIS Good Housekeeping Guide, he should have instructed the officer to either open a new report or passed the information on the closed report to the officer investigating the original assault. Either action would have resulted in Mr Wright being circulated as wanted for breach of bail.

As required by the Police Reform Act 2002, the report was passed to the MPS who determined that the two police constables should receive management advice in respect of misconduct only in both cases. The member of police staff received a written warning in relation to their misconduct.

IPCC Commissioner Sarah Green said: “Although the officers responded promptly to calls to Lucinda Port’s address and made efforts to try and locate Mr Wright, their subsequent actions were inadequate.

“The combination of the failure by the female officer to submit an EAB, and the failure of the staff member to deal with the update on CRIS properly meant Mr Wright was not circulated as wanted for breach of bail.

“Our investigation also found that officers and staff were uncertain as to how the attendances on 17 April should have been recorded on CRIS, and who was responsible for circulating breach of bail offenders as wanted.

"We have made several learning recommendations to improve MPS practice in relation to incident recording and bail management. These are being considered by MPS and as an immediate consequence of this case, the MPS issued instructions that closed CRIS reports should not be re-opened.”

The Metropolitan Police also issued a statement noting that Lucinda Port did not report Paul Wright for breach of bail when they spent time together on April 21, 2011.

“The report noted that it was not suggested either Lucinda Port or Paul Wright's deaths would have been prevented had those procedures been fully followed.

“An independent review was also commissioned by Tower Hamlets Community Safety Partnership (chaired by the police borough commander) to look at the circumstances and identify opportunities for improving the ways in which various agencies operate separately and together to reduce incidences of domestic violence.”

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