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'PETRIFIED'

Woman who moved more than 50 miles to escape her ‘violent’ ex found dead after he turned up at her new home

A WOMAN was found dead in her home after moving more than 50 miles to escape her “violent” ex, an inquest has heard.

Jessica Louise Laverack, known as Jessie, ran away to East Yorkshire from Rotherham in 2017, to flee from ex-boyfriend Patrick Walsh. 

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Jessica Louise Laverack moved to East Yorkshire in 2017Credit: MEN Media

But Mr Walsh found out where Jessie lived and sent her a letter, before turning up unannounced.

Jessie was tragically found dead in Beverley on February 2, 2018. 

Now an inquest at Hull Coroners Court is looking into the mysterious circumstances surrounding her death. 

It heard on Wednesday how Jessie moved to East Yorkshire in the summer of 2017 to escape Mr Walsh who allegedly abused her and on one occasion is said to have grabbed her by the throat.

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Mr Walsh denies all allegations and there is no suggestion he was involved in her death.

Jessie's case was classed as "high risk" at an East Riding Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) on September 5, that year.

It was that month that Mr Walsh is said to have found out where Jessie had moved to. 

The inquest heard he sent a letter to Jessie, before turning up outside. 

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He is alleged to have tried to see and take Jessie's pet dog - who she adored so much she had previously turned down staying at a women's refuge because no pets were allowed.

An East Riding Domestic Violence and Abuse Partnership (DVAP) worker noted in the course of her interactions with Jessie that she reported being "petrified" and scared of leaving her home after Mr Walsh found out where she lived. 

It was also reported that Jessie had suicidal thoughts during Autumn 2017 and was in touch with mental health services.

To try to increase her security and sense of safety, DVAP organised outdoor lighting, an alarm system and a Lifeline call to be available to Jessie at her home as she did not want to move again because she was settled where she was.

In an appointment with her DVAP caseworker a week prior to her death, Jessie indicated excitement for the future, including plans to work with Guide Dogs for The Blind.

She was also in the process of enrolling into rehab to tackle an addiction to alcohol.

How you can get help

Women's Aid has this advice for victims and their families:

  • Always keep your phone nearby.
  • Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
  • If you are in danger, call 999.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
  • Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
  • If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
  • Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.

If you are a ­victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support ­service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected].

Women’s Aid provides a live chat service - available weekdays from 8am-6pm and weekends 10am-6pm.

You can also call the freephone 24-hour ­National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

No further details of Jessie's death were mentioned in the inquest on Wednesday.

A fundraiser tribute in aid of Mind was organised by her sister after her death and raised more than £1,700. 

She described Jessie on the fundraiser page as "fun, loving and adventurous" and said: "Tragically on the 2nd February 2018 I lost her so suddenly and unexpectedly, she was only 34. 

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“My life and families lives changed forever that day and we’re completely heartbroken. I don’t think I could ever describe the sadness and pain we feel as a family every second of the day!"

The inquest into Jessie's death continues.

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