Police ‘could and should have done more’ to protect murdered model
Three police officers have received final written warnings for gross misconduct over their contact with a domestic abuse victim who was murdered days later.
Linah Keza, 29, of Leyton, east London, was killed on July 31 2013 by her ex-partner David Gikawa, who is now serving a life sentence in prison.
She made a number of calls to police in the week before her death at the hands of her abuser, who stabbed her to death in front of her two-year-old daughter.
On Monday, the police watchdog said three Metropolitan Police officers who dealt with her complaints had been found guilty of gross misconduct.
The force apologised to her family and said the officers “could and should have done more to protect Miss Keza from her abusive partner”.
Constables Adrian Brown and Christopher Moore were accused of failing to take the model’s concerns seriously when they visited her home on July 29.
She claimed Gikawa had made threats to kill any man she associated with, had tampered with the tyres of her friend’s car, parked outside the house and continued to visit the area despite her telling him their relationship was over.
But the constables failed to capture the available evidence, including a recording that she had made of Gikawa threatening her in a Ugandan dialect.
Despite having enough information to justify an arrest, they failed to detain the man who went on to kill her.
Sergeant Sidney Rogers was found to have advised Gikawa on July 30, the day before Ms Keza died, that he could visit her home without a police escort.
Gikawa wanted to collect some belongings and had been told by police that he should not do so without an officer present.
But a Metropolitan Police disciplinary panel found Mr Rogers told him he could visit the address with his brother, and then lied to watchdog the Independent Office for Police conduct about it.
Linah’s brother and sister Susan Asiimwe and Ivan Kigenza said in a statement: “We blame no-one but David Gikawa for taking Linah’s life. But Linah trusted the police and they let her down.
“Although we are disappointed that no officer will lose their job, after six years of fighting we are grateful that there has been some individual accountability for the failure to protect her.
“The Metropolitan Police Service has also accepted that there were failings in her case and apologised to us.
“We hope that Linah’s case can be used as an example for change and learning and that something positive can come out of our terrible loss.”
The IOPC found two other officers also committed misconduct in the way they dealt with Ms Keza, one of whom had already left the force and the other who received management action.
Commander Catherine Roper, from the Met’s Professional Standards team, said: “It is clear that these officers could and should have done more to protect Miss Keza from her abusive partner and on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Service I would like to apologise to Miss Keza’s family for the failings that have been highlighted during the IOPC investigation, and misconduct hearings.
“We always look to learn from mistakes made during investigations.
“We are continually working to improve our response to domestic abuse in all its forms, and are committed to safeguarding all victims and bringing perpetrators to justice.
“We always expect the very highest standards of conduct and behaviour from our officers, both in their professional and personal lives.
“When officers fall short of those standards, they can expect to be held to account.”