[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 April, 2005, 18:18 GMT 19:18 UK
Police face family murder probe
Pemberton family photo
Mrs Pemberton's family say there were earlier warning signs
The family of a woman and her son shot dead by her estranged husband have won a review into police actions leading up to the killings.

The deaths of Julia and William Pemberton, who were killed at their Berkshire home in 2003, are to be the subject of a formal review.

Mrs Pemberton's brother Frank Mullane, from Swindon, Wiltshire, has been campaigning for the review.

He believes Thames Valley Police failed to take steps to prevent the killings.

We do not want any other family to have to go through what we have experienced
Family statement
The murders, at the hands of William's father, Alan, came after a series of incidents which family members believe should have been recognised as clear alarm bells.

At the time of the tragedy, Mr Pemberton was already the subject of a court order banning him from going anywhere near the family home in Hermitage, near Newbury.

Last month, Mr Mullane was accompanied by his niece, Laura, to meet Home Office minister Baroness Scotland to call for a formal homicide review into the tragedy.

In discussions held with the minister as a result of the family's meeting, Thames Valley Police Chief Constable Peter Neyroud agreed to the review process taking place.

The full scope of the procedure, which is expected to bring together all the relevant agencies which dealt with the case, has yet to be agreed.

The case would be one of the first to be examined under the homicide review procedure introduced under the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004.

Review welcomed

A spokesman for the force said: "The chief constable of Thames Valley Police has confirmed his willingness to hold a review with regard to the Pemberton case and will be meeting Home Office representatives in the near future to discuss this."

In a statement issued through the Catholic diocese of Portsmouth, the family welcomed the decision.

The statement said: "We will keep pushing so that this review has to address the numerous system failures of Thames Valley Police during this tragedy.

"Our aim is to ensure that Thames Valley Police learns the lessons and implements an appropriate and positive policy in their handling of domestic violence situations in the future and its firearms policy is fundamentally reviewed and changed."

"We believe that if Thames Valley Police had responded appropriately and professionally to this case of domestic violence, this tragedy could have been avoided.

"We do not want any other family to have to go through what we have experienced."

Family's anger over police claims
31 Mar 05 |  Berkshire
Action promised over gun deaths
24 Mar 05 |  Berkshire
Home Office quizzed on gun deaths
24 Mar 05 |  Berkshire
Shot woman's brother hails probe
14 Mar 05 |  Wiltshire
Police criticised over gun deaths
29 Sep 04 |  Berkshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific