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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 January 2006, 19:23 GMT
Harvey Nicks inquest is extended
Victim Clare Bernal
Pech would watch Ms Bernal through mirrors at work
A coroner has ordered further inquiries into the death of a beauty consultant who was shot dead by her ex-boyfriend.

Michael Pech turned the gun on himself after shooting Clare Bernal while she was working at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge, central London.

A verdict of suicide was recorded for Pech, who was due to be sentenced for harassing Ms Bernal, 22.

Evidence will now be gathered from various authorities to see if the judicial system failed Ms Bernal.

The Metropolitan Police, Crown Prosecution Service, HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Constitutional Affairs will be asked to explain the alleged failures that allowed Pech to kill.

Miss Bernal's mother, Tricia, said she was "relieved" the inquiry was continuing.

Threats to kill

"I feel that it is my duty to let other families know that the systems that are in place to protect people have many weaknesses.

"I would hope that this investigation will address these weaknesses and in doing so protect future victims and families," she said.

The court heard when Ms Bernal ended their relationship, security guard Pech began following her, telling her he loved her, then positioning himself in the store so he could see her in a mirror.

Pech, who had threatened to kill Ms Bernal in March, had been on bail on condition he did not contact her or go to Dulwich Village, south-east London, where she lived.

He had been due to be sentenced on 21 September after pleading guilty to harassment. Ms Bernal, originally from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, was killed on 14 September.

Pathologist Dr Vesna Djurovic said Ms Bernal was shot four times - once in the back of the head and three times in the face.

Dr Paul Knapman adjourned the inquest until 8 May.


SEE ALSO:
Woman witnessed stalking horror
16 Nov 05 |  London
'No predicting' stalker murder
07 Oct 05 |  London


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