Chloe Smith, Member of Parliament for Norwich North, has highlighted the death of her Norwich North constituent, Kerri McAuley, to help the government learn valuable lessons as it drafts new legislation that will tackle domestic abuse.
Chloe met with Sarah Newton MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability on Tuesday 12th September to discuss the tragic case of Kerri McAuley, who was murdered by her abusive partner in January this year.
Prior to meeting with Ms Newton, Chloe spoke with Kerri’s mother and Norwich domestic abuse charity, Leeway, to build constructive examples from Kerri’s case that the government could use in the new Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill it is currently drafting.
Chloe commented: “I never met Kerri but she would have been my constituent. Like everyone, when I heard I was shocked and horrified. Every brutal murder is shocking at any time, but I think this was made so much worse by the suggestion things could have been stopped earlier. And that’s why I want to act.
“The minister was very keen to hear all the points. She found it very useful because she is preparing a new bill that will do more to stop domestic abuse,” she said. “Serial offenders is one example of the areas that will be looked at. As a constituency MP, it is incredibly important to be able to use important local examples to get better laws, to make the laws of this land better, so that Kerri did not die in vain.
“I hope that this will be an important line of work to change the law for the better so that evil people like Joe Storey can be stopped in the future.
“I would just like to reiterate one of the important lines that comes out of this case is, speak out if abuse is happening, speak out as soon as possible.”
Chloe’s meeting with Ms Newton was welcomed by Kerri’s family, her mother, Lesley said: “I’m so pleased that Chloe Smith is doing what she’s doing right now, any kind of laws that could be changed in any way just so things could be more safe.
“My daughter had a big heart; she would be looking down thinking ‘yes’.”
Ms McAuley’s uncle Steven Roberts added: “It was certainly much appreciated that Chloe Smith as an MP for Norwich has taken it upon herself to take Kerri’s story to government. I certainly hope she (Sarah Newton) has listened because there’s a significant need for changes to the way domestic violence offenders are sentenced, rehabilitated and dealt with by probation.”