Family of pregnant Islington woman killed by partner take fight for justice to Parliament
PUBLISHED: 16:41 21 November 2013
MP takes up case as debate is scheduled for today
The family of a pregnant woman whose killer was let out of a secure mental hospital five years after committing the brutal slaying are celebrating their case being heard in Parliament today.
Abiodun Ilumoka was beaten and stabbed to death by her illegal immigrant boyfriend at their home in Essex Road, Islington, in 2008.
The killer, Ben Anabah, was detained indefinitely and sentenced to deportation after pleading guilty to the manslaughter – but her relatives were shocked when they found out he had been on escorted leave from the institution a number of times this year.
They launched a campaign to change the law surrounding such cases which will now be the subject of an adjournment debate in the House of Commons after Emily Thornberry, MP for Islington South and Finsbury, took up their case.
Yemi Ilumoka, Abi’s sister, said: “I asked her about when I met with her, I just mentioned it in passing really, and she said: ‘yes, good idea, I’ll see what I can do’.
“Lo and behold it got picked in the ballot and now it is up for debate.
“It’s great news, I can’t stop jumping up and down with excitement.
“It’s the first step, but this way it will be in Hansard and on public record. Plus It will be heard by a lot of ministers who will be there.
“The next thing will be to see how the debate goes, then get an e-petition together.”
Abiodun’s family are demanding those convicted of serious crimes and held under the Mental Health Act are not allowed to have their detention reviewed every year.
They also want a minimum tariff that people must serve before their sentence is reviewed to be introduced – they say the current system works against the families of victims.
Abi was a former pupil at Highbury Fields school, and was just a few months away from becoming a mother when she was killed by her partner in June 2008.
Police were called to the house in Essex Road after desperate neighbours reported screams and discovered Anabah with blood on his hands and mother-to-be Abi critically ill in the kitchen.
She was rushed to the hospital but died and despite attempts to save her baby, including an emergency caesarean, the child also died.
Ms Thornberry said: “This case raises a number of questions. When it comes to sentencing, if the person convicted is not well, the judge has an option to make them serve the first part of their sentence in hospital until they are well enough for prison.
“This isn’t highlighted in the sentencing guidelines and we want to know why.
“We also want to know why someone who was sentenced to deportation was allowed out on the streets, presumably of Islington, whether they were escorted or not.
“And can it really be right that after someone has killed a woman and her baby, the family has to go through a hearing every year explaining why he shouldn’t be released?”
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