Readers' Letters

Readers' Letters

Editor’s comment: Double killer should never have been free

PUBLISHED: 10:30 09 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:19 10 January 2018

Angela Best was murdered by Theodore Johnson in December 2016. Picture: MET POLICE

Angela Best was murdered by Theodore Johnson in December 2016. Picture: MET POLICE


Clare Wood was strangled and set on fire by her abusive ex-partner George Appleton in Salford nine years ago.

She had known nothing about his previous convictions for violence against women. Ms Wood’s father believes she would still be alive if she had.

His campaign, in her name, led to a change in the law. Women can now get information from police about whether their partner has a history of domestic abuse or other forms of violence.

Clare’s law, introduced in 2014, was meant to make heartbreaking cases like those of Angela Best a thing of the past. But perhaps it came too late for Ms Best: she met double killer Theodore Johnson in the mid-1990s, just a few years after his second release from prison.

Abusers alone are to blame for their actions. It was Johnson, not the Home Office, who killed a woman he claimed to care for.

But the police and the government share responsibility for helping end violence against women – through how they identify, punish and rehabilitate perpetrators, and how they support survivors.

It’s easy to say now, but clearly Johnson was not safe to release from prison. And not enough was done to keep a tab on him and make the people around him aware he was a dangerous man.

Perhaps, with cases like these easily found on news websites, it would be different today, and Ms Best might have had access to more information.

But anyone who has killed two partners over 12 years should not be free, and should not have been free, to start a new relationship.

Lessons were learnt after Ms Wood’s death; perhaps more must be learnt now.

• Visit a police station or police counter to make a request under Clare’s law. You can only do it in person.

Related articles

Latest Islington Stories

Yesterday, 18:11

Schoolchildren who escaped the fire which gutted the Highbury Leisure Centre were rewarded for their bravery with a meeting with the Mayor of Islington.

Yesterday, 16:07

An Essex Road charity has scooped a coveted award for its “fantastic” contribution towards youth justice.

Yesterday, 15:17

A Routemaster bus will take 72 passengers on a journey through Greek Cypriot history, via Camden and Holloway, on Sunday.

Yesterday, 08:44

An Islington man has been jailed for his role in the “callous” knifepoint robbery of a rolex watch – but police are still hunting his knife-wielding accomplice.

Yesterday, 08:00

London All-Stars and London Titans are gearing up for an epic weekend of wheelchair basketball, as the Lord’s Taverners Junior Leagues returns for the 2018/19 season.

Thu, 19:36

Sandy Marks has continued to protest her innocence in the face of a QC’s finding that she was involved with pro-paedophile campaign groups in 1979 and 1980.

Thu, 19:23

Politicians and dignitaries across Islington are urging people to take part in a demonstration against fascism and racism taking place on Saturday.

Thu, 19:00

Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira says the intense rivalry between Uruguay and Brazil will make their encounter at the Emirates Stadium a competitive and full-blooded affair.

Promoted Content

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now