Emma Day

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Family photo

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Emma Day was murdered by her former partner, who had waited outside the school gates for her

The family of a woman killed by her ex have criticised the “blasé” attitude of the child maintenance service after she had told it of his violent threats.

Emma Day, 33, was murdered by Mark Morris as she walked home from school in south London in May 2017 after they argued about childcare payments.

A review into her death said the management of her case was “inadequate” and found wider “systemic issues”.

Her sister, Lorna McNamara, now wants a full inquest into Ms Day’s death.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said it would consider the report’s recommendations.

Ms Day and Morris had a child together during their eight-year “on-off” relationship before separating in March 2016.

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Metropolitan Police

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Mark Morris was “controlling, verbally abusive and liable to lose his temper”, a court heard in 2017

While making a child maintenance claim in November 2016, Ms Day disclosed a history of domestic violence, which had been reported to the police, a domestic homicide review said.

Two days later she rang the service again to cancel the claim after Morris met her outside her work at King’s College Hospital, followed her on to the bus and made violent threats.

Mrs McNamara said: “They [child maintenance] didn’t really do anything – they just went ‘OK we’ll cancel your claim’, even though Emma told them why she did so. They were just very blasé about it.”

The service then informed him of the cancellation and the pair are believed to have had no contact through the festive period.

Ms Day made a further incomplete claim in January 2017, and when asked by the service on 16 May why it had not been finished, she told them Morris threatened her.

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Family photo

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Emma Day’s sister now hopes for an inquest into her death

Nine days after that call Morris waited for Ms Day with a knife outside the gates of their child’s school in West Norwood before stabbing her to death after they argued over payments.

He was jailed for life after admitting murder at the Old Bailey, when the court was told he had repeatedly threatened to kill Ms Day if she did not cancel the £2,000-a-year child maintenance claim, texting her: “I’ll go to prison before you get a penny from me.”

As a result of its findings, the report’s authors asked the DWP to urgently commission an independent review into the child maintenance service’s policy around domestic violence.

It also asked the service to set up a “robust domestic violence training programme”.

Mrs McNamara has begun a crowdfunding campaign for an inquest, because “I don’t want this to happen to another family”.

A DWP spokeswoman said: “Our thoughts are with Ms Day’s friends and family.

“The child maintenance service takes the safety of its clients seriously and we will consider the recommendations of this report.

“There are processes and training in place to mitigate risks to people in cases of domestic violence, and we continually review and improve these processes.”

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