originally published by: The Guardian
published: 19th October 2010
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has identified “collective and organisational failings” in the Metropolitan police’s treatment of a teenager who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend after telling them she feared for her life.
Arsema Dawit, 15, was stabbed to death close to her home near Waterloo station by Thomas Nugusse on 2 June 2008. The couple met at church and dated, but after Dawit ended the relationship Nugusse became obsessed and threatened to kill her.
Nugusse, who was 22 at the time, confessed to Dawit’s murder in a 999 call. After his arrest, he twice tried to kill himself, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to enter a plea. He was convicted in May last year.
On 30 April 2008 – six weeks before her murder – Dawit, her cousin and her mother went to Kennington police station in south London to report Nugusse’s threats and to tell them he had attacked Dawit at a McDonald’s restaurant in Walworth Road.
In its report, published today, the IPCC said there had been “collective and organisational failings” in the handling of Dawit’s allegations, adding: “Tragically through omission, misunderstanding and assumption, the messages and information given by the family on the night of 30 April were not sufficiently acted upon.”