Article and photos from hienalouca.com
Heartbroken parents of a mother-to-be who was murdered when heavily pregnant have blasted police and prosecutor blunders that led to her death.
Eystna Blunnie, 20, was killed by Tony McLernon, 24, in 2012 after he viciously kicked and stamped on her in the middle of a road in Harlow, Essex.
Parents Kevin and Sue Blunnie believe a series of police errors led to the murder of their daughter and her unborn child, who was to be named Rose.
Kevin and Sue Blunnie believe a series of police and prosecutor blunders led to the murder of their daughter
Eystna Blunnie, 20, was brutally killed on a road near her home in Harlow, Essex, two days before her due date to give birth
Their lives were shattered when McLernon, who was jailed for 27 years, killed Miss Blunnie after luring her with a text saying: ‘I’ve got a surprise for you.’
Mr Blunnie, 59, went out to look for his daughter and came across the horrific police scene.
The couple reveal to the Sunday People that the Crown Prosecution Service mistakes ‘cost our daughter her life’.
Two month before her death, Miss Blunnie went to the police station in Harlow, Essex, bruised from an assault after McLernon had threatened to kill her because he did not think their baby was his.
Miss Blunnie had notes put on her file, saying: ‘There are numerous previous incidents (involving McLernon) with numerous previous partners, one of which included a knife.
‘He has the potential to seriously harm Eystna, however, they are not living together.’
Miss Blunnie (pictured left and right) was known to police to have suffered domestic abuse at the hands of McLernon
Despite the warning, the latest assessment which officers had made showed she was at ‘medium risk’, largely because she was not living with McLernon.
At Eystna’s inquest, former chief crown prosecutor for the east of England, Grace Ononiwu said McLernon should have been charged with assault.
Mrs Blunnie, 56, the Sunday People: ‘If he had been charged, we would have been more aware. It wouldn’t have happened. There’s no «probably» about it.’
The couple first met in April 2011 and were engaged a few months later before Miss Blunnie found out she was pregnant.
Tony McLernon, 24, was jailed for 27 years for the horrific murder of Miss Blunnie and her unborn baby
McLernon was arrested by police tow months before miss Blunnie’s death went she went to the police station to report an assault
She subsequently left home and when her parents tracked her down six months later they found that she appeared to act differently.
McLernon was repeatedly violent towards Miss Blunnie who was now skinny and nervous, wore dirty clothes and had sores on her face.
The killer would force her to transfer her benefits straight into his account and banned her from having a bath or flushing the toilet at night.
Mrs Blunnie noticed bruises on her daughter’s arm and realised that she was being physically beaten.
Miss Blunnie had numerous bruises from McLernon and was nervous, skinny and wore dirty clothes
The heavily pregnant Miss Blunnie was then lured in the early hours of the morning in 2012 on the false pretenses that she would see his family dog.
Unemployed McLernon, fuelled by alcohol and cannabis, forced her to the ground and beat her so badly a passing lorry driver thought she had been hit by a car.
Residents living near the scene of the attack, that took place minutes from Miss Blunnie’s home, heard her ‘horrific’ screams and the impact of the blows.
The couples campaigning against domestic abuse has given them a ‘purpose’ and to help other vitcims
The Blunnies’ took hand and footprints of their granddaughter Rose who died alongsider her mother in the brutal murder
The Blunnies’ now mourn their lost granddaughter and took photos and hand prints and footprints of the baby.
When Miss Blunnie died, her profile picture on Facebook featured a recent ultrasound scan. She told friends she ‘could not wait’ to be a mother and added: ‘Only 17 days and counting.’
Miss Blunnie and her daughter Rose even had separate coffins to show the significance of McLernon’s horrific murders.
Miss Blunnie and her daughter Rose even had separate coffins to show the significance of their horrific murders
The couples’ campaigning has led to police wearing body cameras to investigate domestic abuse and the training of officers to identify victims.
Mr Blunnie said: ‘Campaigning gives us a purpose, to hopefully help even one person and to not let Eystna and Rose be forgotten.’
A project was set up which by Harlow Council which was inspired by Miss Blunnie and Rose, and they leave cards with domestic abuse helpline numbers around the area.
After the inquest, Essex police said: ‘We will review the inquest evidence to see if it can further inform how we deal with domestic abuse.’
A domestic abuse project was set up which by Harlow Council which was inspired by Miss Blunnie and Rose
To be continued
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