Staffordshire Police settle claim for failure to stop murder of woman

Staffordshire Police have settled a damages claim for a substantial sum (including costs) following the murder of a young woman, Donna Wilson, by her former boyfriend Shaun Clarke, in 2007. The claim, brought in negligence and under the Human Rights Act, was based upon systemic and individual police failings. 

Donna had been the victim of a stalking and harrasment campaign by her former boyfriend, Shaun Clarke, who broke into her house and seriously assaulted her a week before the murder. Donna reported the crimes to the police who due to the mispelling of the murderers name as Sean rather than Shaun and Clark rather than Clarke when inputting the information into the Forces intelligence systems failed to identify Clarke as a lifer on licence who had been released on parole three years earlier. He had served 19 years for the murder of his wife. The wide ranging administrative and investigative errors were admitted but legal liability was denied and the settlement is confidential in relation to quantum. 

This case is one of a series of cases being handled by Nicholas Bowen QC which seek to hold the police and other public authorities liable for murders that were eminently preventable had the requisite degree of professionalism been forthcoming. The Smith Partnership solicitors represented the family.

Nicholas Bowen QC of Doughty Street Chambers is a specialist in civil and public law, tort and human rights claims against public authorities.

To view details of the case as reported in the media please click here:



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