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Natalie Hemming was a married, 31 year, old mother-of-three when she was murdered in May 2016 by her husband, Paul Hemming.
The initial report of concern for Natalie was made to the Police by her mother, who reported her missing on the 3rd May 2016. Unfortunately, this report came too late to help Natalie, as it was later found that Paul Hemming had brutally murdered Natalie in their home in Milton Keynes two days prior to the call.
Paul Hemming was found guilty in November 2016, at Luton Crown Court and sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 20 years. During the trial, the prosecution relayed how Natalie had been attacked and killed in their lounge by her husband, whilst their children slept upstairs. He had wrapped Natalie in a rug and was found by his son, shortly after the attack, scrubbing blood from the lounge floor. Paul Hemming took his wife’s body to a nearby woodland and left it there. She was found by Thames Valley police officers after a 21 day extensive search for her.
Natalie’s daughter, Kirstie, is now 14 years old and living with her aunt in West Yorkshire. She is currently training to become a domestic abuse ambassador at her school and is showing her support for Operation Encompass.
Operation Encompass is a Police and education, early information sharing partnership that started in 2011. This project was initiated by a primary school head teacher, Mrs Carney-Haworth, who works in Cornwall. She had noticed that the behaviour of a pupil had suddenly changed and it was not until several months later that she found out he was witnessing domestic abuse at home. Mrs Carney-Haworth, who is married to a former Police officer, found frustrations at the lack of joined up working arrangements between police forces and educational establishments, is now determined to ensure this process is compulsory.
Each morning, the Police will make contact with the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) at each school, prior to them opening for the day, following officers attending domestic abuse incidents overnight. This process ensures that school staff, who monitor the welfare of children during school time, can intervene early and offer support to each child depending on their wishes.
“When you go through something like that you need the support and you need someone to talk to and someone to help you.”
Kirstie also explained the difficulties focusing, whilst at school due, to the abuse that was happening around her and causing her to be tired.
It is clear that more multi-agency working is fundamental, to give all those experiencing domestic abuse the ability to seek support, according to their need and circumstances.
To discuss how our Family team can help you and your children keep safe from domestic abuse now and in the future, please call us on 08000 147 720, send us an email or text LAW to 67777 to book a free information session at any of our offices. We also offer early morning and late evening appointments across our offices.