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Simon Says: R v Joe Storey

Simon Says:  R v Joe Storey

Simon Spence QC is one of our brilliant trustees and part of our legal team. Here he writes about his successful prosecution in Regina v Joe Storey- a domestic homicide:

I prosecuted this case at Norwich Crown Court in June 2017. Storey was charged with the Murder of his girlfriend, Kerri McAuley. He battered her to death in her flat whilst under the influence of alcohol and cocaine after a Friday night out. He left the flat, leaving her to die on the floor of her hallway.

Joe Storey was a large, powerful man. Kerri was petite and very pretty. She had two sons, of whom she was immensely proud. She maintained good relations with their father, who was looking after them for the weekend in question.

Storey and Kerri had a very turbulent relationship. He had been violent to her in the past and manipulated her mentally, bombarding her with thousands of texts and phone calls on a daily basis. Horrifying pictures of bruised and swollen face were found by the police on her Facebook page. And yes, she kept forgiving him and taking him back. In one very poignant text, she foreshadowed her own death, suggesting that one day he would kill her.

Storey’s controlling and violent behaviour was not restricted to Kerri. He had been the subject of no fewer than 4 Restraining Orders by courts in relation to previous girlfriends. All of this background evidence went before the jury to give them an indication of the sort of man they were trying.

Kerri’s injuries were horrific. They were limited to her head and face. Every bone in her facial structure was broken. He jawbone was fractured on both sides, so the jaw itself was hanging loose, held in place only by the skin covering it. Both eye sockets were broken and there were 21 separate fractures to her face. She had clearly tried to escape and he had pulled her back into the flat, given blood patterning around the front door. Before he left, he smeared her blood all over his face and took a selfie, which the police recovered from his phone. He left the flat with Kerri dying on the floor. He went to a friend’s flat and spent that evening and the following day scoring drugs and watching pornography on his mobile.

How was Kerri’s body discovered? Not by Storey notifying the police. Fortunately for Kerri’s two boys, they nor their father had a key to the flat, so when he returned the boys on the Sunday evening they could not get in. Kerri’s mother and brother had to attend and it was they who discovered her broken, bloodied body on the floor, a sight that will haunt them for the rest of their lives, they said.

Storey pleaded Not Guilty to Murder but admitted Manslaughter on the basis that he did not intend to cause Kerri serious bodily harm (the required intent for murder). It took the jury less than 40 minutes to reject his defence and convict him of murder.

He is now serving a life sentence for her murder with a minimum term of 24 years to serve before he is eligible to be considered for parole.

A dangerous woman beater is now safely behind bars.

If you are affected by any of the issues discussed here, please feel free to contact us at 


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The Daisy Chain Project

Domestic Abuse Prevention Charity- Legal advice
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The Daisy Chain Project
Hello all! Just to let you know we are working a little slower than normal due to our recent press coverage- we got an influx!

We have a little queue system in place so please bear with us- we are always happy to help where we can.

We also have recruited at least one, but possibly more, shiny new lawyers!

Stay tuned for more news 🙂
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We’re fresh out of a team briefing at Worthing Job Centre in which we worked with Safe in Sussex to inform the Job Centre Staff about what they can do if they suspect one of their clients is in an abusive relationship.

We were told that with joint claims under Universal Credit, it is unfortunately possible for an abuser to exercise further control over their victim.

We believe education is the key to prevention regarding domestic abuse, and to recognise the signs can lead to early intervention.

If your organisation needs any information or briefings on the law surrounding domestic abuse, please give us a shout- we are more than happy to offer this service!
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The Daisy Chain Project
Hi all, welcome to the new followers on this sunny day!

A friendly reminder- we will only offer you legal advice if you are the victim of the domestic abuse.

We take this view because we feel it is safer for genuine victims as we cannot prove so that we are sure that another ‘interested’ party won’t jeopardise the case and put the victim in more danger. We will also not divulge any information about any of our clients to anybody who asks us but for in circumstances where the client agrees for us to share information with other services.

If you are concerned about a friend, colleague, or family member, please gently encourage them to contact us for legal advice, or many of the other fabulous organisations out there for more practical advice.

Thank you.
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We are thrilled! Thanks so much to the OSPCC!
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Now the election is over we can announce we have received £8,500.00 in funding from National Lottery Awards For All.

This means that we have been able to fund a mobile phone app, which our app designer is currently designing (more on that in the future but we are very excited!)

And another book!

We have MORE news to share very very soon!

Other people in similar situations as us- what do you do if with no notification a client is half an hour late for an appointment? Do you just accept they aren’t coming, try and contact them, or strike them off so they aren’t a client anymore?

Another really positive result for a client today. #wearekeepingyousafe

If you need our assistance, please note that although we can complete things quickly, court the same or next day is something we are unlikely to be able to help with. We always will if we can, but unfortunately due to court deadlines etc it isn’t always possible

Calling all lawyers - want to make a difference and put something back? Please contact @_TDCP_ and volunteer your services to help victims of domestic abuse in Sussex #VolunteersRock

A first in the UK - pro bono legal advice for victims of domestic abuse in Sussex @MoJGovUK @AssocPCCs

Also can we take a moment to appreciate our existing legal team, who are absolutely amazing?! Big love to all of you. Without you, none of this would be possible. Especially @DamianAStuart @MarkPeterSavage @simonspenceQC and Lawrence Watts, whose handle I can’t remember