Taking Action...Refuge vs Greater Manchester Police / CPS

Target: Greater Manchester Police Protesters: Refuge Location: Manchester Date: 14 May - ongoing

Domestic violence: Refuge protests
Domestic violence: Refuge protests

The lowdown
Domestic violence charity Refuge is planning to sue the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for failing to protect a woman murdered by her violent husband.

Why the protest?

The charity claims both services breached human rights legislation by not protecting 26-year-old Sabina Akhtar who was killed last year by Malik Mannan. CEO Sandra Horley told BBC Radio 4 the charity was protesting through the courts because ‘the only way to change policy and practice is to hit them where it hurts, in their wallets’.

How did the GMP and CPS respond?

The GMP’s chief constable Peter Fahy defended police actions. He said that police had sent a file of evidence about the situation to the CPS, who decided not to prosecute. The CPS said the chief crown prosecutor had already personally apologised to the bereaved family.

How did the media cover it?

The Times, The Guardian and bbc.co.uk covered the story at length last week. The Manchester Evening News took a stronger view, pointing out that the husband had received ‘one of the quickest murder trial guilty verdicts in Greater Manchester’s legal history’. The paper said prosecutors, who had not pressed charges earlier, had left Malik Mannan ‘free to murder’.

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