Refuge responds to criticism of police and state agencies in shocking triple domestic homicide case

Today, three reports have been published which criticise the response of police and state agencies in the case of Carl Mills, who murdered his girlfriend Kayleigh Buckley, their baby daughter Kimberly and Kayleigh’s mother Kim in September 2012. Refuge highlights that this tragic case is far from isolated, and renews its call for a public inquiry into the police and state response to domestic violence.


Over the course of Mills and Buckley’s relationship, there were various child protection referrals and inquiries prompted by Mills’ behaviour. A Serious Case Review highlighted that Mils had committed 45 violent incidents prior to the murders, including setting fire to his mother’s bed and threatening her with knives. The Domestic Homicide Review found that agencies failed to recognise or respond to Mills’ actions, and that expected processes and procedures to protect Kayleigh were not followed effectively. Gwent Police’s arrangements for accessing information held by other forces were described as “inadequate”. Although Kim Buckley reported criminal damage to the family home and threatening behaviour by Mills in the weeks leading up to the murders, the allegations were never acted upon.

To read the IPCC’s full report, click here.

Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge, says:
Sandra Horley CORRECT HEADSHOT 2014“The deaths of Kim Buckley, her daughter Kayleigh and baby grand-daughter Kimberley are deeply tragic. My thoughts go out to Kim’s mother, Gwyneth Swain, and her family at this incredibly difficult time.

“Police and state agencies have been criticised for their response to this shocking case. Three generations of this family were brutally murdered by Kayleigh’s former boyfriend Carl Mills. The Independent Police Complaints Commission report and a Serious Case Review showed that police and social services missed opportunities to protect Kayleigh Buckley and her family and that the police handling of the case ‘fell well short of the standard expected’.

“But the sad truth is this is not an isolated case. Two women a week are killed at the hands of a current or former partner. Across England and Wales, police forces – and other state agencies – are failing women and children. This is a national disgrace. 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. We need to put an end to this culture of inaction. Please add your voice to our campaign by signing our petition here.

 To read more about Refuge’s public inquiry campaign, click here.