A woman was murdered by her partner shortly after she'd reported fears for her life to authorities, an inquest was told.

Cherylee Shennan had even declared her worries to the probation service on the day she died at the hands of Heywood man Paul O'Hara.

Cherylee, 40, of Hardman Avenue, Rawtenstall, died of multiple stab wounds after being attacked by O’Hara outside her home in March 2014.

After three weeks of evidence in front of a jury, the inquest into her death ruled that Cherylee was unlawfully killed.

Its findings said a failure to recall O’Hara to prison once reports of violence against Cherylee were made contributed to her death.

In addition to reporting her fears on the day of her death, probation services had heard of a report of domestic violence made by Cherylee just over two weeks earlier.

 

But on March 14, 2014, the service decided not to recall O’Hara to prison as it was said Cherylee had then retracted the allegations. She died three days later.

A report by Lancashire Coroner James Newton also said ‘the lack of inter-agency management or the appropriate sharing of information’ also possibly contributed to her death.

The report also says that there was poor risk management of O’Hara, who had already served 15 years for killing a previous partner, and poor understanding of his manipulative personality.

Cherylee Shennan was stabbed to death outside her home in Rawtenstall

It then went on to list mistakes made by the authorities, saying Greater Manchester Probation Trust (GMPT) failed to build a rapport with O’Hara when he was under their supervision.

There had been no face-to-face visit prior to his release and afterwards there was no visibility of his licence conditions.

When O’Hara got together with Cherylee, GMPT failed to inform police of the relationship - meaning no vulnerable person marker was placed on her address.

Cherylee Shennan

When Cherylee was fatally attacked two police officers were present as they had been called to a report of domestic abuse.

Mr Newton said had police been aware of the relationship there could have been ‘other pairs of eyes’ monitoring the situation.

O’Hara stabbed to death a previous partner, Janine Waterworth, in Oldham in 1998.

Paul O'Hara

The court heard that O’Hara, who on release in 2012 was deemed ‘of high risk of causing significant harm to women’, was subject to a life licence and monitoring.

The inquest was told that when informed of the details of Paul O’Hara’s previous crime Cherylee was ‘shocked by the severity’ of his actions’. They had got together in August 2013.

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After the conclusion of the inquest, a Lancashire Police spokesperson said: “First and foremost our thoughts today are with Cherylee’s family and friends.

“Her murder was a truly horrendous incident which took the life of a woman with so much to live for.”

The GMPT, which was under the control of the Ministry of Justice, no longer exists, it has become part of the National Probation Service, who deal with high risk offenders, and Cheshire and Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company.

The Ministry of Justice has been asked for comment.