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Last Updated: Monday, 8 May 2006, 17:37 GMT 18:37 UK
Store gun death inquest delayed
Clare Bernal
Pech would watch Ms Bernal while she was working
The inquest into the death of a woman shot dead by a former boyfriend in a department store has been adjourned while more reports are compiled.

Michael Pech killed Clare Bernal, 23, then shot himself in Harvey Nichols, central London, last September.

Miss Bernal's mother Patricia called the Westminster coroner's decision to delay until 10 July disappointing, as she said lessons needed to be learnt.

Pech began following her daughter after their brief relationship ended.

He worked as a security guard at the department store where Miss Bernal was a beauty consultant.

When Miss Bernal called off the relationship, Pech started watching her via mirrors in the store as well as bombarding her with text messages and repeatedly telling her he loved her.

'My duty to families'

He was eventually sacked from Harvey Nichols after Miss Bernal complained about his behaviour, and was on bail after admitting harassing her when the shooting took place.

Miss Bernal's mother said: "There is an urgent need to learn important lessons from Clare's death and I am concerned by how many women will remain at risk while the review is delayed.

"However, I remain committed to ensuring that a full and thorough review takes place.

"I feel that it is my duty to let other families know that the systems that are in place simply fail to protect women."

The coroner, Dr Paul Knapman adjourned the inquest in November so internal inquiries could be held by the Metropolitan Police, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Courts Service and HM Revenues and Customs.

He said some inquiries were yet to take place.


SEE ALSO:
Gun death risk 'not understood'
27 Feb 06 |  England
Mother calls for stalker reforms
26 Feb 06 |  England
'No predicting' stalker murder
07 Oct 05 |  London


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