Girlfriend killer was left free to murder SECOND woman after string of police and probation blunders, jury rules


A CONVICTED killer was free to murder a second woman after a string of police and probation service blunders, a jury has ruled.

Paul O’Hara, 48, was jailed for 15 years for killing ex-girlfriend Janine Waterworth, 21, after she dumped him.

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Paul O’Hara, 48, was out on licence when he met Cherylee Shennan[/caption]

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Cherylee, pictured, was stabbed to death outside her home[/caption]

Judge Anthony Russell told Preston Crown Court there was an “exceptionally high risk” to the public if O’Hara was ever freed.

He was released on licence in 2013 and started dating mum-of-one Cherylee Shennan.

But he began beating the 40-year-old and stabbed her to death after attacking officers at her home in Rawtenstall, Lancs.

On the day of her death Cherylee had told O’Hara’s probation worker she was scared of him after several violent incidents, including one in which he broke her jaw.


And a jury has now concluded that the failure to recall him to prison contributed to Miss Shennan’s death in March 2014.

Her mum, Betty Roberts, slammed the police and probation services and said her daughter would still be alive if they had done their jobs properly.

She told the Daily Mail: “Probation and police had all the information they needed to stop this, but they let it happen.

Probation and police had all the information they needed to stop this, but they let it happen.

Mum Betty Roberts

“We as a family have to live with that knowledge, and without Cherylee, for the rest of our lives.”

Miss Shennan, a former beautician, said she was terrified of O’Hara who had broken her jaw and nose and held her at knifepoint.

Probation officials were contacted and told police that they “need to arrest him” after she phoned to say she was being abused and cops went to her home.


But O’Hara stormed into the house and attacked one officer with a hammer before holding a second female officer at knifepoint.

O’Hara, of Heywood, Gtr Manchester, then chased Miss Shennan into the street and stabbed her five times and she died at the scene.

He was convicted of murder and was jailed for life.

On Friday, a jury in Preston said a catalogue of blunders by probation services and police who failed to recognise the risk he posed contributed to her death.

Lancashire Coroner James Newman is now issuing a prevention of future deaths notice to Lancashire Police, the Ministry of Justice and North West Probation Service to try and prevent a similar tragedy from happening again.

A Lancashire Police spokesperson said: “First and foremost our thoughts today are with Cherylee’s family and friends.

“Her murder was a truly horrendous incident which took the life of a woman with so much to live for.”

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The mum-of-one was murdered in 2014[/caption]

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Cops outside her home in Rawtenstall, Greater Manchester[/caption]

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