THE family of a mother killed by her boyfriend in a knife attack - who claim she would have lived but for Gwent and South Wales Police blunders - had their compensation hopes dented by the Appeal Court.

Joanna Michael's loved-ones say that, had her 999 call not been "misrouted" and down-graded from needing an immediate response, officers would have got to her St Mellons home in time to stop Cyron Williams killing her.

However, judges at London's Court of Appeal today ruled negligence claims against the two forces should not proceed and struck them out.

The court allowed Miss Michael's children and parents to continue with their claim that the circumstances of her death amounted to a breach of the "right to life" enshrined in Article 2 of the Human Rights Convention.

On August 5 2009, Miss Michael called 999 from her home telling a Gwent Police operator that Williams attacked her.

Miss Michael was recorded saying that Williams had threatened to return to kill her, but it is disputed whether that the police operator heard this.

The call was then graded as "requiring an immediate response" - with officers to arrive at Miss Michael's home within five minutes. Miss Michael was told that South Wales Police "would want to call her" back.

"Rather scant" call details were passed to the South Wales Police control room, where an operator was told that Williams had threatened to hit her. No mention was made of the threat to kill.

The message was then down-graded and officers took time to gather further information.

About fifteen minutes after Miss Michael's first call, she dialled 999 and a Gwent Police controller heard screaming, which then stopped. That call was "graded immediate" and, eight minutes later, officers arrived at the home to find her dead.