Mother, 33, is knifed to death by ex-boyfriend, 31, after warning police 13 times that he was threatening and abusing her
- Laura Stuart called North Wales Police 13 times with concerns over Jason Cooper
- She made reports of his harassment, domestic abuse, assault and threats to kill
- A further five reports were made by worried relatives and the ambulance service
A mother murdered by her abusive ex-boyfriend had warned police he was threatening ‘to finish her’ just days before she was killed, it has emerged.
Laura Stuart, 33, reported Jason Cooper to police 13 times for harassment, domestic abuse, assault and making threats to kill in the two years before she died, an independent report into police conduct found.
But officers failed to take her claims seriously and, a few days after Miss Stuart’s final call to North Wales Police, she was dead. The couple had been together for two years, but when they moved in together Cooper, 31, became abusive and controlling.
Laura Stuart, 33, had warned police that her abusive ex-boyfriend Jason Cooper, 31, was threatening ‘to finish her’ just days before she was killed
Eventually, in January 2017, Miss Stuart left and broke off their relationship, but Cooper continued to threaten her constantly via text messages and Facebook – in just one day he bombarded her with 421 texts – repeatedly calling her a ‘whore’ and a ‘slut’.
In August 2017, Cooper lay in wait while the mother-of-two enjoyed a night out in Denbigh before attacking her as she walked home, repeatedly stabbing her with a kitchen knife and kicking her in the face. She died in hospital two days later.
Cooper was jailed for a minimum of 31 years at Mold Crown Court in March 2018 after being convicted of the care worker’s murder.
Miss Stuart’s mother, Liz Griffiths, 56, told the BBC: ‘He just wouldn’t leave her alone. He would text her saying, “If I can’t have you, nobody’s going to have you.”
‘They [the police] let Laura down. If they’d actually spoken to him, actually physically went and spoken to him, I think maybe he would have listened – you’d hope that he would have listened.’
The couple had been together for two years but when they moved in together Cooper became abusive and controlling
As officers had contact with Miss Stuart in the run-up to her death, after the trial North Wales Police was referred to the watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
Its report, to be published today, reveals that between August 2015 and August 2017 Miss Stuart had reported Cooper to police 13 times, but he was never arrested or questioned.
A further five reports had been made by worried relatives and the ambulance service.
Cooper winked at photographers outside Mold Crown Court in 2018 as he was jailed for a minimum of 31 years after being convicted of the care worker’s murder
It states that, three days before she was murdered, Miss Stuart called police and said: ‘He’s threatening to finish me for good now. It’s getting beyond an absolute joke. And… that I’ve got to run. I’d better run.’
The report found that officers failed to put enough safeguarding measures in place to protect Miss Stuart.
They also failed to seize Cooper’s phone or pursue a case against him for harassment or coercive and controlling behaviour, which carries a jail term.
North Wales Police has now agreed to ensure frontline staff receive training on domestic abuse, controlling behaviour, stalking, harassment and sexual violence.
Superintendent Nick Evans said: ‘We fully accept the findings of the IOPC investigation and have been working with them to improve our operational response.
‘We are committed to doing all we can to protect victims of domestic abuse and bring offenders to justice.’