An investigation into a triple suicide revealed that there were “no signs” that the father would kill his wife and two children before committing suicide.
A domestic murder investigation into the deaths of Paul and Geraldine Newman and their children concluded that no one “had any suspicion that such a terrible series of events would likely unfold.”
Newman murdered Shannon, 11, and six-year-old Shane before putting their bodies side by side on their mother’s bed shortly after Mrs. Newman, 52, was beaten down to a pulp downstairs at her home in Allerton Bywater, near Castleford, West Yorkshire, on February 2, 2016.
She died of a head injury from blunt trauma after Newman, 42, hit her with a hammer at her row house near Leeds.
Mr. Newman’s body was found hours later at the bottom of a series of cliffs 180 miles away in Anglesey, Wales. He had to be identified by his fingerprints.
Paul Newman murdered 11-year-old Shannon and six-year-old Shane (right) before putting their bodies side by side on their mother’s bed shortly after 52-year-old Geraldine Newman (left) was pulped downstairs
Paul Newman, 42, (left) knocked down his Wilko store manager wife (right) with a hammer before stabbing daughter Shannon, 11, and son Shane, six, at home in Allerton Bywater, near Leeds
Their deaths led to a review by Safer Leeds, in partnership with Leeds Safeguarding Children’s Partnership and Wakefield Community Safety Partnership, to see if lessons could be learned.
A report, now made public, says that agencies were only aware of one domestic violence incident between the couple in July 2013.
During a prolonged physical attack, Newman attacked his wife and threatened to kill her. He was convicted of assault and was sentenced to 17 weeks in prison.
The couple gradually reconciled after being released from prison, but Mr. Newman continued to display controlling and compelling behaviors, such as checking his wife’s cell phone and showing up at her workplace daily.
The attack was the subject of a multi-agency review at the time, but Ms. Newman had no access to specialized domestic violence and abuse services. Her family suggested to the review panel that this likely had been because she didn’t want to expose the couple’s issues.
Author Paul Johnston said that Ms. Newman “made it clear to professionals, family, colleagues and friends that she did not feel the risk of further violence by [Mr Newman] and that she would contact the police if the situation changed. ‘
He said that Mr. Newman had never expressed any thoughts about harming others, especially his wife and children.
Paul Newman’s body was discovered on cliffs called Mousetrap Zawn in South Stack, Holyhead, Angelsey in North Wales (left) at 5.25pm the same day he killed his wife and children (right, Mrs. Newman and her daughter Shannon)
A coroner recorded a judgment of wrongful killing for the death of Mrs. Newman and her children, and a judgment of suicide for the death of Mr. Newman (photo, the scene of the Leeds murders)
THE YEARS OF TORTURE FOR MOTHER AND CHILDREN CAUGHT
October 2013: Paul Newman jailed for 17 weeks for brutal attack on his wife Gerry, ‘left for dead’
Christmas 2013: Newman is released after serving half of his sentence
January 2014: Domestic abusers are classified as ‘low risk’ but are monitored by the authorities
September 2014: Gerry takes it back for the sake of her family and starts a course on domestic violence to restore her life
January 2015: After a year without a report to the police, Newman is no longer being monitored
Spring 2015: Gerry tells friends that she will be beaten again, but avoids the police
December 2015: Man is kicked out after beating up his wife and kicking his daughter in a row over deodorant
February 2016: Newman beats his wife to death and then murders his children before his body is found at the bottom of a cliff.
March 2020: An investigation into the triple suicide found that there were “no signs” that the father would kill his wife and two children before committing suicide.
In his conclusion, Mr. Johnston said, “None of the family, friends or colleagues of [Mrs Newman] or from [Mr Newman] had any suspicion that such a terrible series of events would likely unfold. The same was true for the agencies with whom [Mrs Newman], [Mr Newman] and the children came into contact.
However, the assessment found that some organizations have learned, but in general, professionals involved in the delivery of services were experienced, reflective, qualified, embracing and supportive.
“The agency’s responses were broadly in line with expected practice and the few areas that did not meet the requirements were addressed as this assessment progressed.”
The report was completed before an investigation into the deaths took place at the Wakefield Coroner’s Court in March 2019.
Senior medical examiner Kevin McLoughlin recorded a verdict on wrongful murder for the deaths of Mrs. Newman and her children, and a verdict on suicide after Mr. Newman’s death.
Lessons included that the Domestic Violence Service in Leeds should ensure that a referring body is informed when attempts to contact a victim have been unsuccessful in high-risk cases.
Key learning areas for Wakefield and District Domestic Abuse Service included the need to continuously monitor and evaluate performance and to develop clearer pathways for victims, to accurately record referrals, to share information with partner organizations, and to discuss issues outside their area. .
Geraldine Newman, 51, was beaten to death with a hammer on the ground floor of the terraced house in Allerton Bywater, West Yorkshire (photo, police on site)
It was also pointed out that national probation services in all districts of the municipality should carry out child services checks if an address was close to the borders.
A total of 39 recommendations were made, focusing on areas such as training, risk assessments and referral processes, to 10 different organizations and the children’s schools.
Mr Johnston recommends that the Leeds Children’s Social Work Service review its education and development framework on domestic violence, with particular emphasis on the risks of divorce involving domestic violence, addressing the pathology of perpetrators of domestic violence understand violence. and response from agencies where victims of abuse have moved away from family and other support networks.
Several recommendations were made to the schools, including support for inexperienced school leaders to build security skills, a designated GP for domestic violence and increased cooperation between schools teaching children from the same family.
It was recommended that the Catholic Care charity in Leeds should provide compulsory domestic violence training for all its staff, make the issue part of the monthly team meeting agenda and offer a new domestic violence program to youth from six to eighteen years in Catholic schools throughout the diocese.