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Georgia Williams murder: Killer not stopped after previous attack

A teenager hanged by a man obsessed with asphyxiating girls was failed by police and social services assigned to her killer after an earlier attack, a serious case review has found.

Jamie Reynolds tried to strangle a girl in 2008 and went on to hang 17-year-old Georgia Williams in Telford in 2013.

A number of agencies have jointly admitted a series of failures.

Her parents said: “If people had just done their jobs properly our daughter would still be alive.”

Georgia Williams
Image copyrightWest Mercia Police
Image captionIn 2011, Georgia Williams’ killer, Jamie Reynolds, was reported to police for reversing his car into that of a girl who had spurned his advances.

Steve and Lynnette Williams added: “Having lost Georgia to pure evil, we cried when we read this report and the failings of all the agencies involved, because it was so obvious that Reynolds was, if not one already, a murderer in the making.

“Georgia’s death could have been prevented.”

Reynolds was jailed in December 2013, at the age of 23, after admitting murdering Georgia.

At the time of his sentencing, Stafford Crown Court was told Georgia knew Reynolds but had “made it clear she had no romantic interest in him” and only agreed to go to his house to be a model for his amateur photography.

Jamie Reynolds
Image copyrightWest Mercia Police
Image captionJamie Reynolds is serving a whole-life prison term for the murder of Georgia Williams

Chief Constable David Shaw, of West Mercia Police, said: “We could have and should have done better. We let Georgia down.”

There were “shortfalls” in the force’s investigation of Reynolds’ attempt to strangle a 16-year-old girl at his home in 2008, the serious case review found.

Police treated what happened as an assault, the 16-year-old’s injuries were not photographed and neither she nor Reynolds were referred to a forensic medical examiner.

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In 2011, Reynolds was reported to police for reversing his car into that of a girl who had spurned his advances.

The report said no link was made to the 2008 incident, and that it is clear had the matter been looked into in more detail it would have highlighted Reynolds’ developing behaviour.

Nooses and pornography

Reynolds’ stepfather had told the Justice Liaison Service he had discovered the then teenager viewed images of naked women being strangled.

He also told the service Reynolds had photos of girls he knew with nooses drawn around their necks, the review team said.

Georgia Williams
Image captionGeorgia Williams dressed up for Comic Relief. Her killer, Jamie Reynolds, had taken pictures of other girls but they were not told of this by police.

The Justice Liaison Service told Reynolds’ stepfather to tell the police about the pornography and doctored photographs, but the force did not act on them, the report said.

Instead, Reynolds was given a final written warning by police.

He was put in contact with the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service, Justice Liaison Service, the Youth Offending Service and a scheme for adolescent sex offenders run by the NSPCC.

Telford & Wrekin Council’s Children’s Services was involved over concerns about Reynolds and other possible victims who were all under 18 at the time.

The review team stated a “flawed” decision was made by agencies not to tell the girls in the photographs about the images.

‘Life in danger’

One of them, Jadine Dunning, was only shown a photograph of herself with a noose drawn around her neck after Georgia – who she knew – had been murdered.

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She waived her right to anonymity and said: “They couldn’t have got it any more wrong.

“They’ve put my life in danger there. Not only my life, other young girls’ lives and I think that’s completely wrong.

Georgia’s father Steve, a detective constable with West Mercia Police, said he felt an inner conflict as the review highlighted “shortfalls” in the force’s previous dealings with his daughter’s murderer.

Mr Williams has called for the publication of an Independent Police Complaints Commission report into how his colleagues investigated an attack by Jamie Reynolds in 2008.

Georgia Williams with parents Steve and Lynnette
Image copyrightGeorgia Williams Trust
Image captionGeorgia Williams pictured with her parents Steve and Lynnette

But he said he decided to stay with the force despite knowing the failings surrounding his daughter’s killer.

The report stated: “Although at least eight agencies… had involvement in the case, at no time did all those agencies meet together and there was no clear and co-ordinated approach to multi-agency working.”

Laura Johnston, director for children and family services at Telford & Wrekin Council, said: “Neither the council’s practice or the Youth Offending Service’s practice was good enough in 2008.”


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