High Court case of murdered Bury St Edmunds woman Mary Griffiths to start today

Mary Griffiths, who was murdered by a stalker. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Mary Griffiths, who was murdered by a stalker. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

The daughters of a murdered Bury St Edmunds woman take their civil claim for damages against Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) and Suffolk Constabulary to the High Court today.

John McFarlane

John McFarlane - Credit: Archant

Mary Griffiths was shot dead in her home in front of her three children by John McFarlane after he broke into her home in May 2009.

Jessica, Hannah and Sophie Griffiths’ case will be heard in the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice.

McFarlane is serving 30 years for the murder of the 38-year-old fitness instructor after he used an axe to break into her home in Bulrush Crescent in the early hours of May 6.

She was shot repeatedly with a bolt gun in front of her children after being dragged out of bed.


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The Independent Police Complaints Commission was called on to investigate the contact between the mother-of-three and police in the hours before her murder in Bury St Edmunds.

She had called police on a non-emergency number to say she was concerned about the behaviour of McFarlane.

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Police decided not to dispatch an officer but arranged to meet up with her in the morning.

IPCC commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said in her report that while the call was graded correctly, an officer should have been dispatched at the earliest opportunity on May 5.

McFarlane had been under the care of the then Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and had been assessed as being of no significant risk to others just three days before the murder.

An independent NHS Midlands and East report identified “some weaknesses” in the care, but concluded that “her tragic murder could not have been predicted.”

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