Murdered woman Cassandra Hasanovic failed by police and CPS, inquest finds

Cassie HasanovicInquest finds police and CPS failed to protect Cassie Hasanovic

Today an inquest into the death of Cassandra (Cassie) Hasanovic, 24, who was killed by her estranged husband Hajrudin (Harry) Hasanovic, 34, in front of her two young children in July 2008, found that Kent Police, the CPS, and Sussex Police all failed to take appropriate steps to safeguard Cassie’s life.

 

Sharon de Souza, Cassie's motherSharon de Souza, Cassie’s mother, says:

“My daughter Cassie was a beautiful, courageous young woman, who did everything within her power to protect herself and her children. She was a wonderful mother whose greatest wish was the chance to watch her children grow up.

“Although her situation was in the hands of three different agencies, ultimately these agencies let her down. The jury have unanimously decided what we always felt: that there were a number of serious failings by all three state agencies that ultimately impacted on her chance to a life.

“I would like to thank the Coroner and the jury for taking such care in considering the evidence and holding these agencies to account.  I would also like to thank Refuge and Karon Monaghan for their continuing support.

“I would like to end by supporting Refuge’s call for a public inquiry in the hope that another family does not have to go through what we have. Please join our call for a public inquiry and sign the petition.”

 

Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of RefugeSandra Horley CBE, chief executive of national domestic violence charity Refuge, says:

“The jury at the inquest into the death of Cassie Hasanovic found that Kent Police, the CPS and Sussex Police all failed to take appropriate steps to safeguard her life.

“As to the CPS and Sussex Police, the jury also found unanimously that had they taken appropriate steps, there is a substantial chance that Cassie’s life would have been saved.

“The jury found that Kent Police failed to arrest Harry for breaching his bail conditions. They also found that the CPS did not take a number of steps to safeguard Cassie’s life, including failing to apply for Harry’s bail to be withdrawn and failing to inform Cassie of the special measures that might have been available to assist her in giving evidence against Harry.  The jury found that Sussex Police failed to escort Cassie to a refuge on the day she died and that had they done so, as she asked, there is a substantial chance that she would be with us today.  And they found that Sussex Police officers were inadequately trained in domestic violence – something we always feared.

“I am saddened by the finding of this inquest.  But regrettably I am not surprised.

“Every week two women are killed by current or former partners in England and Wales.  Mounting evidence shows that in too many of these cases, the police and other state agencies fail to protect victims of domestic violence.  The list of women who have been failed by the state is sickeningly long and it will only grow longer unless something is done.

“That’s why Refuge is calling on the Government to open a public inquiry into the response of the police and other state agencies to victims of domestic violence.  Domestic violence is a national problem; state failure is a national problem – it needs a national response.

“How many more women and children must die before we see real change? Please join our call for a public inquiry and sign the petition.”