10th September 2021
Kathryn Howarth represented the London Borough of Merton in an inquest concerning the death of 17 years old Katrina Makunvoa, who was killed by a knife wound in an altercation with her ex-boyfriend at a block of flats in London. There was significant media coverage of both the Crown Court trial and Inquest before the Senior Coroner for London Inner South.
In July 2018 Katrina Makunova, aged 17, was killed by a knife wound in an altercation with her ex-boyfriend. He was subsequently sentenced to imprisonment for her murder. The Senior Coroner for London Inner South, sitting with a jury, heard evidence relating to Katrina’s previous interactions with the Metropolitan Police, as well as social workers from several London Borough’s, including the London Borough of Merton.
The jury’s conclusion was one of unlawful killing. The jury found that the Metropolitan police had failed in not taking appropriate steps to investigate and act on the earlier incidents involving the perpetrator. The conduct of Merton’s social workers was examined and not found to have been causative of the death.
The Senior Coroner made three “prevention of future death reports”, to the Metropolitan Police, the Home Office and organisations involved in research into assessing safeguarding risks where knife possession or gang affiliation appear to be relevant factors.
Merton’s Children’s Social Care team were commended for their efforts to help Katrina.