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Aunt of TV journalist Teresa McMahon who was found dead at her home says police treated her ‘appallingly’ as she tells High Court detectives bungled probe into claims she was a victim of domestic abuse


The aunt of a TV journalist found dead at her home told the High Court today that police have treated her ‘appallingly’ after ‘bungling’ a probe into domestic abuse claims.

Teresa McMahon, 43, who worked as a producer and news editor for ITV, was found hanging inside her flat in Little Hulton, Salford on August 3, 2021.

But Greater Manchester Police refused a request by Lorna McMahon for a criminal investigation into the death of her niece.

Ms McMahon’s family claims police mishandled the investigation into allegations she was the victim of domestic abuse.

Lorna McMahon, 60, told a pre-inquest review in February 2022 that the mother-of-one was abused by her partner in the days before hear death.

She said her niece had been assaulted ‘on a number of occasions’ and had even talked of fleeing to London for three months to escape her situation.

Bolton Coroner’s Court had heard how friends, colleagues and relatives of Teresa raised concerns of abuse to police before her death.

Teresa McMahon, 43, who worked as a producer and news editor for ITV , was found hanging inside her flat in Little Hulton, Salford on August 3, 2021

Teresa McMahon, 43, who worked as a producer and news editor for ITV , was found hanging inside her flat in Little Hulton, Salford on August 3, 2021

Ms McMahon's family claims police mishandled the investigation into allegations she was the victim of domestic abuse

Ms McMahon’s family claims police mishandled the investigation into allegations she was the victim of domestic abuse

But an investigation by GMP ruled out any criminal activity.

Following another pre-inquest review, in August 2022, coroner Timothy Brennand described Teresa as ‘a vulnerable individual locked in a coercive and controlling relationship’.

Mrs McMahon has argued if there was evidence police had not carried out a proper investigation into her niece’s death there was a wider ‘public interest’ at stake.

According to a report from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) the GMP delayed seeing Teresa for nine days due to ‘resourcing issues’ after she made a report of domestic abuse in July 2021.

She was found dead less than two weeks later.

The force failed to inform Teresa of her former partner’s violent history when she requested it under Clare’s Law, and lost vital bodycam footage of her discussing her concerns.

The police watchdog had said the investigation of the family’s complaint ‘was not adequate, reasonable or proportionate’ and that ‘lines of enquiry had not been pursued’.

The IOPC directed the force ‘to reinvestigate the complaints in line with procedures outlined in their domestic abuse policy’.

But the GMP’s review of its original investigation last July found it wasn’t flawed and a criminal investigation was not warranted.

The IOPC then concluded the GMP’s investigation was reasonable and proportionate, prompting the family’s application for a judicial review.

Mrs McMahon referred to an audio recording of a call her niece made to police about her partner in her evidence to the High Court today.

She said: ‘My issue is that the audio recording is vital evidence, and GMP failed to disclose this evidence to the coroner claiming that it wasn’t relevant.

‘I feel that three minute conversation with the police prior to her death is significant. The IOPC claim that the police acted perfectly acceptably.’

ITV producer Teresa McMahon, 43, was the victim of abuse in the days leading up to her death, her aunt Lorna told a pre-inquest hearing in February last year

ITV producer Teresa McMahon, 43, was the victim of abuse in the days leading up to her death, her aunt Lorna told a pre-inquest hearing in February last year 

She continued: ‘I honestly believe I’ve been treated absolutely appallingly.

‘All I wanted was to lodge a complaint and have it independently investigated.’

Mrs McMahon told the court that body worn footage from the day Teresa died showed that neighbours were concerned about her niece, contrary to what the police have claimed.

‘In the footage [from 3 August 2021] there were clear concerns from neighbours.

‘Teresa had made allegations of ABH (actual bodily harm). She told the police that he broke her ribs and her fingers over the phone.

‘We know she asked for disclosure under Clare’s Law.

‘You have an inaccurate account from GMP.’

She referred to Teresa’s phone call with the police on 12 July 2021.

‘It is clear to people who know Teresa that Teresa is very frightened.’

‘She told friends and family that he had broken her ribs. She indicated to her GP that she had upper abdominal pain.’

Barrister Caroline Jones, on behalf of GMP, told the judicial review hearing: ‘In relation to the body worn footage formed no part of the re-investigation that led to the decision currently being challenged.

‘It is not necessary for the court to have sight of it.’

Referring to the phone call, Ms Jones said: ‘It is a matter dealt with in some detail in the original investigation and the subsequent one.’

She told Mrs Justice Lang: ‘You have a wealth of information in front of you to justly determine the matter in this decision.’

Mrs Justice Lang is expected to reserve judgment.



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