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WHY DIDN'T COPS LISTEN? REVEALED HOW OFFICERS IGNORED WARNINGS OF VIOLENCE AND MISSED CHANCE TO SAVE A LIFE; Witness to fatal fracas sues police for not averting it.

Byline: Marion Scott

The police failures that led to a man being stabbed to death can be laid bare for the first time.

Officers did not take Iain O'Brien's threats of violence against his ex seriously and failed to trigger domestic abuse procedures that would have prevented him bursting into her home with a baseball bat.

He was stabbed to death by Lynn McMillan's boyfriend Paul Hadden during the fracas in her home in Coatbridge.

Lynn, 42, has now launched a PS300,000 legal action against Police Scotland over the trauma she suffered as a result of their failures.

Police have since apologised to her for not detaining O'Brien, having been called to an incident at the house earlier the same day.

A report by the former Strathclyde Police's Professional Standards Unit admitted officers failed to log previous incidents, pass on information or carry out background checks.

Former care worker Lynn said: "When I called police earlier that day, two officers heard O'Brien saying: 'You are a whore and I'm coming to kill you.' "They saw I was terrified and promised to protect me.

"Instead, they left me at my home and delayed going to Iain's so they missed him.

trauma Lynn is police force "Iain did what he'd threatened to do and smashed his way into my house. We were trapped in my tiny kitchen with no escape. Paul's natural reaction was to save my life.

"None of this would have happened if police had done what they were supposed to. I feel terrible for Iain's family. Paul has been sent to jail and I'm in constant pain from the injuries I suffered and have night terrors and flashbacks."

O'Brien, 39, entered terrified Lynn's home on January 31, 2012, and was stabbed 21 times by Lynn's long-term partner Paul, 36, as he tried to protect her.

Paul's 10-year sentence for culpable homicide was reduced to seven on appeal in 2013 when judges agreed his fear of injury hadn't been fully recognised.

Police had been called to the house earlier on the day of O'Brien's death when Lynn reported a threat from him.

The Professional Standards Unit report said that while police had managed incidents in a manner which controlled the escalation of O'Brien's behaviour, they could have prevented him going to Lynn's home that night.

Lynn's legal action, which claims police failed to act on the "real and immediate risk" to her life, has been lodged in the Court of Session.

She is claiming damages for loss of earnings, psychological and physical injuries and legal costs and interest dating back to 2012.

Lynn and O'Brien dated briefly when she split from Paul but the pair had reunited.

On January 29, O'Brien sent threatening texts but instead of arresting him for sending those, police detained him for shouting sectarian abuse at them. He pled guilty, was fined and released next day.

Officers reported the incidents to the procurator fiscal but failed to submit forms to obtain call data from O'Brien's phone, meaning there wasn't enough evidence to charge him with domestic abuse.

At 3.19pm on January 31, Lynn reported further threats from him. Officers went to Lynn's home and then to O'Brien's home but he wasn't there and they left.

The officers were informed O'Brien had been arrested two days earlier but weren't told it was for a domestic incident.

If they had, O'Brien could have been pursued under stalking laws and officers would have been required to arrest him.

The report adds: "In this circumstance he clearly would not have been able to pursue the course of conduct that he subsequently did on January 31."

Just after 8pm that night, O'Brien made two drunken malicious calls to police alleging he'd been threatened by someone with a gun. Two officers found him intoxicated.

They then went to Lynn's house where she explained she'd earlier reported O'Brien for threatening her. It was not logged as a domestic incident, despite the sergeant knowing of the previous issues.

Just 20 minutes after officers left Lynn's home, O'Brien threatened her again and she dialled 999. Responding officers heard O'Brien threatening to kill her.

Lynn said: "The officers told me: 'We've got him now.' They promised to protect me, but they left, leaving Paul and I at my house.

"It should've taken seven minutes for officers to get to Iain's house. But they delayed and missed him and he turned up here, changing all of our lives forever."

Lynn's lawyer Cameron Fyfe of Drummond Miller said: "This case is unusual because police made a specific promise to protect Lynn from a threat and then failed to do so."

A Police Scotland spokesman said: "A full and thorough review of this case has been carried out. The force have identified particular areas for improvement.

"Appropriate action has been taken and our procedures have been amended accordingly."

They delayed and it changed all of our lives forever

CAPTION(S):

HORROR Paul Hadden, far left, stabbed O'Brien to death after he launched baseball bat attack

TRAUMA Lynn is suing police force
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 6, 2016
Words:844
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