MALPAS ROAD SHOOTING REPORT: Shot mum left scarred for life
RACHEL Williams, 40, was left scarred for life after her husband shot her twice with a sawn-off shotgun.
Despite having to have most of her left leg rebuilt during an eight-hour operation she can walk, having regained 45 per cent mobility in her knee after months of physiotherapy.
She says the report revealed much of what she already knew about her husband – that he was a “chameleon” with a personality and character that was instantly changeable.
She said he led a life full of lies and she was shocked to discover he had fathered an illegitimate child, while they were together.
She said his abusive upbringing, highlighted in the report, had a massive impact on his life but in the 18 years they were a couple she had supported him and tried to get him help. But she admitted that she was forced to leave him for her own sanity and welfare.
In her opinion he suffered a mental breakdown and did not get the help he needed, but says this should not excuse him for the mental and physical abuse she says she received for years.
The former hairdresser said she placed her trust in the agencies and family members to look after her son, Jack, while she was recovering in hospital after she raised concerns he was changing from a loving, caring boy, to someone she no longer recognised.
She said: “Jack was grieving and I needed to knowhe was receiving all the support that was or should have been available to him, which it is now clear he wasn’t.
“I find it hard to swallow that the agencies involved were not in communication with each other.
“Tragically there are lessons to be learned from this report, but sadly at the cost of my beautiful son.”
Gwent Police’s assistant chief constable, Simon Prince, said the force was sorry it did not consistently go that extra mile that was, with hindsight, evidently needed.
He said officers acted with the best of intentions when faced with highly complex situations and emotions and took appropriate action whenever they could.
He said: “It is not known whether the elements highlighted within the report could have prevented the events that culminated in the death of two members of the same family and the serious injury to another.
“However it would have facilitated the sharing of full and correct information with partner agencies and this would have given agencies the best opportunities to intervene, to offer help and minimise risk to those involved.”
Widespread changes followed the tragedy
HEAD of children’s services at Newport council Mike Nicholson said there had been widespread changes in children’s services since Jack’s death.
This has involved putting in place a safeguarding children improvement plan which sets out the requirement for regulations and safeguarding reports at each meeting of senior managers.
He added: “Everyone is fully aware of the lessons to be learned and is determined to ensure that there is no repeat of our failures. Children are at the centre of our work. We work hard every day to identify, protect and serve those who need our support most, and we are committed to fully addressing the key points of this report.”
A spokesman for Aneurin Bevan Health Board, said recommendations had been acted on and progress made. He added work would continue with partner agencies to improve sharing of information to reduce risk.
Recommendations accepted by all
STEWART Greenwell, chairman of Newport Local Safeguarding Children Board and Newport council’s strategic director, said the report identified some shortcomings from a number of services and all had accepted the recommendations and were already implementing changes.
He added: “The report highlights that events unfolded very quickly... and there was no preceding history to warn professionals of the serious potential of the situation. The author considers that the professionals involved with the family generally did want to ‘do the right thing’, and that there are complex reasons why this did not result in good outcomes for the individuals.”