Probabilities missed to avoid wasting Tina Billingham from killer associate


Tina Billingham was stabbed by way of the center with a sword stick by her violent associate Ronald Cooke earlier than being dumped at a GP surgical procedure in Rowley Regis.

She had lived in worry of him as his “home slave” for 17 years, over which era he repeatedly abused her.

A home murder evaluate has revealed Cooke was identified by probation service to be a thug, that Ms Billingham had reported home abuse to GPs and confessed she thought he had the “capability to kill” her.

Cooke was jailed for all times – with a minimal of 24 years – for the homicide of the grandmother in 2017.

The killer, who had beforehand tried to run down an ex-partner along with his van and doused one other with boiling water, was additionally allowed to grow to be a joint tenant at their residence in Granville Street, Outdated Hill, regardless of warnings about his behaviour.

The impartial evaluate, by the Safer Sandwell Partnership, criticised various businesses and highlighted “a number of missed alternatives” to avoid wasting the 54-year-old’s life.

GP surgical procedures and the Ministry of Justice have been suggested to make enhancements.

Chief Superintendent Richard Youds, chairman of the partnership, stated: “It’s heartbreaking to learn this evaluate as we attempt to comprehend what life will need to have been like for Tina day in, time out.

“The report highlights a number of missed alternatives.”

The couple had been travelling to gather Miss Billingham’s aged uncle in February 2017 when he delivered the deadly blow.

She was left at Rowley Healthcare. Well being staff tried to avoid wasting her however had been unable to take action.

Why did no-one take motion to avoid wasting Tina?

The couple met in 1999. From that point Miss Billingham began to grow to be extra faraway from her household, to the purpose the place she was virtually a prisoner in her residence.

She gave up her job as a cleaner over fears Cooke posed a danger to her colleagues and resorted to contacting her sons in secret by having them ship textual content messages to the landline.

However the marketing campaign of abuse was not solely clear behind closed doorways. Ronald Cooke was a identified home abuser.

A home murder evaluate, set as much as examine what involvement varied businesses had with the couple within the years main as much as Miss Billingham’s homicide, stated Cooke “had a longtime historical past of violent and unpredictable behaviour to girl he had been in relationships with”.

Earlier than assembly Miss Billingham, police data confirmed he had “terrorised, harassed and assaulted” an ex, who he tried to run down along with his van after mounting the pavement. He additionally punched one other associate within the head and kicked her as she was on the ground.

Cooke was stated to have a fascination with knives an owned a number of samurai swords and ceremonial knives. Chillingly, he additionally saved a pickaxe deal with along with his associate’s title on it which he “laughed about and used to intimidate her”.

The sufferer attended A&E on three events with accidents which the evaluate panel stated ought to have set alarm bells ringing that she may very well be in an abusive relationship.

They included broken ribs and an damage to her cheekbone.

Though on one go to she denied she was assaulted, specialists stated her case ought to have been adopted extra intently.

The impartial report, launched by the Safer Sandwell Partnership, additionally revealed that in 2010 Cooke was given a two-year group order after being convicted of precise bodily hurt for throwing boiling water over a lady he was having an affair with.

The order included an Built-in Home Abuse Programme and was judged to be a “excessive danger of hurt” to the girl.

Though she was not the sufferer of this explicit assault, a Ladies’s Security Employee was assigned to work with Miss Billingham.

Ronald Cooke

The group order was revoked early in 2012 as Cooke was deemed to have made “good progress”.

Inexplicably, Cooke was allowed joint tenancy at their residence in Granville Street, Outdated Hill, only a week later after Sandwell Council’s housing division was instructed the supervision order had been revoked.

Then, in March 2013, got here essentially the most evident instance of communication failure between businesses when Miss Billingham instructed a nurse at her GP surgical procedure in graphic element of the abuse she was struggling.

The report stated: “(Miss Billingham) made a major disclosure to a nurse at her GP surgical procedure graphically describing the size and severity of the abuse she had skilled by the hands of (Cooke).

“Information state she described him as paranoid and abusing her bodily and mentally. (Miss Billingham) expressed her worry to the nurse of his capability to kill her however was adamant she wouldn’t report him to the police.”

She attended the surgical procedure twice throughout the next fortnight and her abuse was not raised together with her.

The report continued: “The GP was conscious of her historical past, noting on a hospital referral made for her that she was a ‘sufferer of home abuse’.”

One other alternative to flee her nightmare got here in 2015, when she arrived at a housing workplace searching for an inventory of hostels. She was recognized as a “high-priority danger”.

She then rang the housing division the following day “in a distressed state, describing her associate as controlling”, and was positioned in a hostel.

Nonetheless, she was suggested that if she gave up her joint tenancy Cooke would lose his rights too.

She then felt she “had no selection” however to tell her associate and later returned residence.

By February 2017 she was useless after practically 20 years of abuse.

Officers hope classes have been discovered

A collection of adjustments have been made after GP surgical procedures, the Ministry of Justice and a council housing division had been instructed to make enhancements across the reporting of home abuse following a evaluate into the dying of Tina Billingham.

Companies have “considerably stepped up home abuse coaching” for workers following failings earlier than Miss Billingham was murdered by abusive associate Ronald Cooke in Rowley Regis, in response to the Safer Sandwell Partnership which carried out a evaluate of the crime.

The partnership stated it hoped classes had been discovered from the dying of Miss Billingham, which got here after a number of clear warning indicators she was at risk.

GPs have been “reminded” to think about why susceptible sufferers might refuse the supply of counselling, as occurred within the case of Miss Billingham, to assist determine victims of home abuse.

Housing insurance policies have additionally been improved in Sandwell to help victims of abuse, together with guaranteeing a tenant isn’t being coerced when there’s a request to transform a sole tenancy to a joint tenancy.

“Strengthened programs” for managing abusers and sharing data have additionally been launched after it emerged Cooke had a protracted historical past of assaults on companions and had been launched from a group order early.

Chief Superintendent Richard Youds, chair of the partnership, stated: “I want to thank everybody who has contributed to this evaluate, together with relations who’ve met with us.

“It’s important we hearken to their experiences in order that we are able to proceed bettering companies, defend and help others sooner or later and guarantee folks trust in looking for assist.”

An announcement on behalf of Miss Billingham’s household stated: “No individual ought to need to undergo the ache of dropping a liked one by way of home abuse. The loss has affected everybody who knew and liked Tina deeply. Our lives won’t ever be the identical once more.

“Tina’s grandchildren are heartbroken and discover it obscure why she left them with out saying goodbye and why she needed to die. The household have united in guaranteeing Tina’s legacy is a continuing reminder for them.

“Following the result of the evaluate, and the suggestions to deal with adjustments in practices and create an consciousness for the companies accessible for folks being subjected to home abuse, we hope this may increasingly cease different households receiving that earth-shattering cellphone name or knock on the door.”