Agencies 'missed opportunities' in run up to tragic solicitor's murder at his Chorley home

Dave Edwards
Dave Edwards
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An investigation into the responses of public organisations in the run up to the murder of a lawyer by his abusive wife has identified a series of “missed opportunities”.

Dad-of-one David Edwards was stabbed in the heart by his new bride Sharon Edwards in 2015 and she was jailed for life in March 2016.

A domestic homicide review, delayed by her attempts to appeal her conviction, has been published by Chorley Council.

It said: “David’s death has highlighted the need for greater public awareness of female on male violence, the different forms of domestic abuse and the signs and symptoms of coercive control, particularly pertaining to male victims.”

It found in September 2014, David attended his own GP stating his girlfriend ‘pulled his shoulder’. The GP did not make any direct enquiries about domestic violence.

In July 2015 he attended A and E with a cut nose and ear. The panel considered not recording how he acquired these injuries was a “missed opportunity”.

It recommends the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) takes action to strengthen awareness raising opportunities for necessary interventions to protect and safeguard male victims of abuse, and that professionals agencies have access to training regarding male victims.

Today Mark Brooks, chairman of male abuse charity Mankind, said: "The review shows there were clear failings by a range of organisations in how they could and should have done more to support someone who clearly was a male victim of domestic abuse.

"Was this a general failure or was it driven because he was male? The question is whether the professionals involved did not sufficiently react because of a particular perception that domestic abuse only affects women? I would certainly say there there were clearly strong elements of this.

"There are so many lessons to be learned from this review which are of national significance let alone just lessons for organisations across Lancashire. The key will be whether those organisations which change what they do because of the review."