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Police launch a 'domestic homicide' review after killings.

Byline: Naomi Corrigan Reporter

AN investigation is under way to see if "lessons could be learned" from the tragic deaths of domestic abuse victims Lynne Freeman and Jodie Betteridge.

Cleveland Police have confirmed a domestic homicide review has been set up after both women suffered domestic abuse at the hands of Alan Bennett.

The 34-year-old killer had been known to police. His record included previous convictions for battery, GBH and possession of a knife.

He also had a long history of mental illness - in 2013 he was diagnosed with a mixed personality disorder with paranoid tendencies, "prone to impulsive tendencies".

He was said to be worse in drink.

When asked if more could have been done prior to the events of March 23, Detective Sergeant Peter Carr, the deputy senior investigating officer in the case, told The Gazette this would be considered in the review.

"There was a history of domestic abuse and both murders are being classfied as domestic," he said.

"The review will be carried out independently of the police investigation to see if any points of learning can be established." On the day of her death, Lynne Freeman - described in court as "vulnerable" and suffering from depression - was pushed to the ground by Bennett in the street.

He later made chilling threats to her on the bus as they travelled home.

A resident on Byland Close, Redcar told The Gazette they had often heard Bennett "shouting and bawling" at Jodie's home. Her relatives were pleased she had left him. Jodie's mum Marina Griffiths said that since leaving Bennett, her daughter was "the happiest she had been".

The Redcar and Cleveland Safer Community Partnership will carry out the review into the case.

It is thought the review will examine the history of both relationships, and consider if responses by the relevant authorities could have been improved.

Det Sgt Carr said Bennett showed no remorse at any point during the investigation.

"He was interviewed at length about both murders and never provided an explanation," he said.

"He showed no remorse and cared more about himself."

Police said Bennett never gave an explanation of why he committed the acts. In court yesterday, he showed no emotion as the horrific nature of his crimes was detailed to the courts.

"The review will be carried out independently of the police investigation to see if any points of learning can be established" - Detective Sergeant Peter Carr, above


| Police say the murders of Lynne Freeman, above left, and Jodie Betteridge, centre, by Alan Bennett, above right, were both being classed as 'domestic'

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jul 29, 2016
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