Investigation finds police dealt 'appropriately' with murder victim Sinead Wooding's 999 calls

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An independent inquiry has found that police officers and call handlers dealt correctly with complaints made about murder victim Sinead Wooding's husband.

The 26-year-old mother of four called 999 in the days before she was killed by partner Akshar Ali, 27, in May 2017 to report his threatening behaviour.

After Ali was jailed for murder in January of this year, the handling of the case was referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, who analysed the response taken by officers and call handlers in the build-up to the murder.

The investigation is now complete and the IOPC have concluded that West Yorkshire Police acted appropriately.

Sinead called the force on 10 May 2017 to report receiving malicious calls and texts from her husband. He wasn’t at their home at the time but was claiming to be waiting for her there. She was given advice by the call handler. Another call handler contacted Ms Wooding approximately one hour later, and confirmed she was at her home and was safe and well. Officers were dispatched to her home the following day, in line with force policy, but she wasn’t at the address and did not answer calls to her mobile phone.

Three days later, officers went to her home in Potternewton and were told by Akshar Ali that she wasn’t there, and regularly went missing for days at a time.

Sinead's body was found in woodland close to Eccup Reservoir the next morning and Ali was charged with her murder.

IOPC regional director Miranda Biddle said:

“Anyone who followed the trial of Akshar Ali cannot fail to have been moved by the senseless brutality of Sinead Wooding’s death, and our thoughts are with her family and friends.

“In analysing all the available evidence, including detailed witness statements from all those involved, our investigation concluded that West Yorkshire Police followed all policies and procedures appropriate to the circumstances at the time and did not cause or contribute to Ms Wooding’s death.”

Ali's friend Yasmin Ahmed, 27, was also convicted of the murder and both were given 22-year jail terms.

Sinead was stabbed several times and struck repeatedly about the head. A Home Office pathologist concluded several skull fractures were caused by at least one claw hammer. The murder trial jury was told her body was kept in the cellar at Ahmed’s home for two days before being transported to woodland near a lane in Alwoodley, where it was set on fire. The body had been wrapped in a duvet and trussed up with wire before being doused with petrol.

Her family gave an emotional statement on the steps of Leeds Crown Court after the trial.