A 17-year-old girl who died during a row with her ex-partner was failed by police who missed links with gang affiliation and domestic abuse, a coroner has said.
Katrina Makunova died after falling onto a knife which pierced her heart during a row with her ex-partner Oluwaseyi Dada in July 2018.
Dada, 21, was jailed for two years and three months after pleading guilty to her manslaughter.
In a prevention of future deaths report published earlier this month, coroner Andrew Harris has raised concerns about the Metropolitan Police’s assessment of the risk posed by ‘gang affiliation’ to a domestic abuse victim.
Katrina had suffered a pattern of abuse, coercion and controlling behaviour by her ex-boyfriend, and had also witnessed violence and threats against her family and friends.
In his report, Harris has called for the Met to improve its identification of risk factors and questioned the force’s capacity to fulfil its safeguarding role
The case raised questions after it was revealed that Dada, from Camberwell, was known to carry a knife and that he displayed the weapon in order to exert control over Katrina.
The coroner said: “Those around Katrina knew of her past and present association with gang members; yet this too never seems to have been investigated and identified by police as a risk factor.”
Katrina was known to be feeling isolated, scared, and depressed before the incident which culminated in her carrying a knife when she went to see Dada, leading to her fatally falling when she was pushed by her ex-boyfriend.
Evidence presented during the inquest “did not reassure that the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) would be able to establish a CSU workforce of sufficient capacity to enable officers to fulfil their safeguarding role effectively and safely”, the coroner said.
A police officer who failed to act upon Ms Makunova’s claims of harassment before her death was found guilty of gross incompetence earlier this year at a disciplinary hearing.
PC Sophie Dennis made ‘premature and incorrect’ decisions, the hearing found.
Mr Harris has asked two university academics to provide evidence-based advice about ‘whether and how knife-carrying and gang membership’ should be considered in risk assessments of victims of domestic abuse.