A police officer accused of failing to act on the claims of a domestic abuse victim has said there was “no way to see what was coming down the line”.
Met Police officer Kerry Lynham denies gross incompetence together with her colleague PC Sophie Dennis.
The allegations are over their handling of Katrina Makunova who claimed she had been harassed by her former partner, Oluwaseyi Dada.
The 17-year-old died during a confrontation with Dada in July 2018.
She was killed after falling on to a knife she was carrying in her handbag when she met him at a property in Camberwell, south-east London.
The 23-year-old was jailed for two years and three months for her manslaughter.
The tribunal heard the police officers had responded to a domestic incident at Ms Makunova’s mother’s house on 23 June.
The officers said they had viewed it as “non criminal” and that no allegation of criminal harassment had been made by Ms Makunova.
PC Dennis admitted failing to fill out two mandatory risk assessments following the incident, but said she could not recall the reason why she had not.
“I know it sounds silly but I don’t have an answer,” she told the disciplinary panel.
“I can’t recall why I didn’t fill out [the risk assessments], but looking back in hindsight I can say it was a mistake.”
The panel heard Ms Makunova had provided the officers with an incorrect date of birth, stating she was 18.
Those under the age of 18 are considered children and a separate safeguarding report is required, which PC Dennis also did not fill out.
PC Lynham said she had had no cause to believe Ms Makunova was not an adult and that both officers had assessed the level of risk at the time as “standard”.
She said Ms Makunova had told them she had already contacted Dada and they were engaging in conversation prior to his arrival at the house.
“I felt I was able to make a risk assessment based on the questions I had asked,” PC Lynham said.
“I had no way of knowing what was coming down the line.”
Sophie O’Sullivan, legal adviser to the panel, said the incident “could be regarded as a missed opportunity case”.
The police officers deny allegations of:
- Failing to acknowledge a member of the public was reporting criminal allegations of harassment and offences under the Public Order Act;
- Failing to take positive action as a result of that allegation;
- Failing to complete risk assessments relating to a vulnerable victim of domestic abuse and
- Failing to safeguard a child in failing to complete a report for a database containing details of minors who have had contact with police.
PC Dennis is also accused of providing false and misleading information on a crime report. She has admitted failing to complete the appropriate risk assessments and providing false and misleading information, but denies failing to acknowledge a report of harassment or taking positive action.
A verdict in the hearing is expected on Wednesday.