Georgia Gabriel-Hooper wants to see a change in the law to prevent the lives of other victims and their children from being ruined by the actions of violent perpetrators. As a 14-year-old she saw Andrew Hooper shoot her mother Cheryl 51, twice after she split from him following years of abuse. She had been standing next to Hooper’s Land Rover Evoque, which her mum was sitting inside, when the horror unfolded in Newport, Shropshire, on an evening in January 2018.
Her powerful account has been read out in the House of Lords by Baroness Newlove, in a bid to ensure an amendment to bring about the register will be won through the Domestic Abuse Bill. Ministers have indicated they are considering plans for a register to monitor men who harass or are violent to women, which was debated yesterday.
Georgia, now 17, said: “If there had been a register my mum would be alive. My stepdad had a previous conviction and had abused many women.
“If that had been taken seriously my mum would not have entered the relationship with him.
“There were failings in my situation. I want to do everything in my power to save as many people as possible. I have been saying it over and over, we have a sex offender register why don’t we have a domestic abuse register.
“We have people experiencing crime within their own home – why is it being ignored? Is it because it’s female victim heavy and men tend to be the perpetrators? In my case, it was such a horrific violent crime committed in front of a child – why was no one talking about it?
“When my mum died, I never thought for a second domestic homicide was as big a problem as I discovered it to be.”
The Daily Express End This Injustice crusade has won a Government pledge to overhaul the Family Court to protect domestic abuse victims.
It has also campaigned for non-fatal strangulation, post-separation abuse and threats to share intimate images to become standalone offences, which minister have vowed to introduce.
The campaign has also been highlighting the need for a register of perpetrators of domestic abuse.
Georgia, from Shropshire, said her mother’s death happened after her stepfather stalked them.
He placed a tracking device on Cheryl’s car. She said: “He was following us everywhere. Her murder was brutal. I was shouting at him ‘What have you done?’
“I was banging on his bonnet – I was lucky he didn’t flatten me. When he got home, he tried to kill himself and shot half his face off.”
She added: “If 100 women were killed this year, that’s 100 women with names, families, dreams and talents having their lives taken. They are not just statistics.”
Hooper was put behind bars for life for murder with a minimum of 31 years. Georgia said she refused to allow him to overshadow her own life following Cheryl’s death.
The Domestic Abuse Bill is at the report stage in the Lords and steps have been taken to add an amendment ensuring judges and magistrates are given mandatory training within the Family Court system.
Last night, the Lords voted to have a new category to tackle domestic abuse offenders within multi-agency protection arrangements (MAPPA).
These bring together police, probation and prisons and are designed to protect the public, including previous victims of crime, from harm from sexual and violent offenders.
Baroness Williams of Trafford said: “My sincere condolences go to the family of Ms Gabriel-Hooper.”