Concerns that the “system isn’t fit for purpose” after a startling percentage of males who are freed on bail go on to murder women, according to statistics.

Over two years, at least 21 males were free to kill women after being released on bond, according to data. After the startling statistics were revealed, activists declared that “the system isn’t fit for purpose” and demanded that more be done to safeguard women and girls.

The horrific death toll for UK women whose killers were freed on bail between 2020 and 2022 was revealed by sobering statistics from the Femicide Census.

Free to kill: After being granted bail, 21 men attacked women over two years

According to the research, 14 other murderers—among them Jordan McSweeney, the man who killed Understands Ena—attacked their female victims during the same two-year period after being released from jail on a license.

Just nine days before her murder, the career criminal was freed from high-security HMP Belmarsh, where he was serving time for crimes including carrying a weapon, causing criminal damage, and racially aggravated public order offenses.

16 males were the subject of domestic abuse prevention orders and other injunctions when they committed murder, which sparked discussion about how successful the enforcement was.

“We are concerned about the worth of processes like bail, licensing, and Domestic Violence Prevention Orders (DVPOs, sometimes referred to as injunctions),” stated Dr. Karen Ingala Smith, co-founder of the Femicide Census.

A DVPO, for instance, is a court order designed to stop someone from conducting a certain activity. Are we really expecting males who are dangerous and really abusive to take it seriously? To an order from the court? It’s not as though kids are unaware of the wrongfulness of abuse and violence.

“Just as we don’t need a court order to instruct us not to kill someone, a guy who has made the decision to kill a lady won’t be stopped from doing so just because there is a court order. The system isn’t intended for its use.

One of the cases involves 26-year-old Emma Baillie, who in 2022 suffered numerous knife blows and strangulation at the hands of her violent spouse, Peter Duffy, in Coatbridge, Scotland.

Three bail conditions were in effect at the time for Duffy, 48, who later killed his brother in a separate incident. One of the restrictions included not approaching Ms. Baillie.

It is quite concerning to know that there are dangerous offenders wandering the streets who should have been behind bars at the time of their arrest, Carol Austin, her stepmother, said last month. She added that he should never have been freed.

Duffy received a 30-year prison term and a warning that he might not be allowed to leave.

Daniel Boulton, her “manipulative and controlling” ex-partner, at her Louth, Lincolnshire, home in May 2021.

Domestic abuser Boulton was subject to a restraining order against Ms. Vincent, according to the court, but he “repeatedly” violated it and traveled 28 miles to carry out the heinous killings. He received a life sentence with a minimum of 40 years in prison.

In November 2021, Christopher McGowan killed Claire Inglis in her Stirling apartment after torturing her.

Two months prior to killing her, the violent criminal, who had 39 prior convictions, had been granted bail to live with his new girlfriend, Ms. Inglis, 28, and her little kid.

In an attack that went “beyond sadistic,” he battered and strangled her before setting her on fire with a lighter and forcing a wet wipe down her throat. He spent 23 years behind bars.

“He should never ever have been put in her flat with my grandson and Claire – not with the criminal record he had,” said Ms. Inglis’s father Ian in a statement following the case.

The data do not include more recent occurrences. For example, 36-year-old mother of two Hayley Burke was shot in the head in May 2023 by her ex-partner, Jacob Cloke, who is said to have held her at gunpoint and pulled the trigger during a standoff with the police.

Although Cloke, 29, was charged with assaulting Ms. Burke on several occasions, she was released on bond and told not to get in touch with her or go near Dartford, where she resided. In addition, he was shot, and days later, he passed away in the hospital.

After being granted free on charges of domestic abuse, abuser Marcus Osborne, 35, was given a rare whole life order last month for stabbing his ex-partner Katie Higton 99 times in a “ferocious and merciless” attack.

In addition, he sexually assaulted and killed a 25-year-old guy she was seeing, Steven Harnett, before asking Huddersfield neighbors to view their remains. This happened in May of last year.

After reporting Osborne’s abuse to the police five days prior, Ms. Higton informed them that he had threatened to “slit her throat if she said what he had done” and that “if she ever got a boyfriend he would kill them both.”

“These are shocking figures over two years and reveal a failure by the authorities to adequately assess risk and a failure by police/probation to enforce or properly supervise offenders on bail or license and to enforce non-molestation orders,” said Harriet Wistrich, director of the Center for Women’s Justice (CWJ), in an interview with The Independent.

She noted that in a police super report filed by the CWJ in 2019, concerns regarding violations of court orders and bail terms were brought up.

“Those who present a serious risk of violence towards women need to be identified and contained or effectively supervised if in the community,” she said, urging the Ministry of Justice to concentrate on only releasing the lowest-risk offenders as part of the ongoing early release scheme amid the prison overcrowding crisis.

Every death is a devastating loss of life, according to Amy Bowdrey, policy and public relations officer of the domestic abuse charity Refuge.

She said, “It is critical that the police and other agencies comprehend the intricacies of domestic abuse, including coercive control, and acknowledge the grave danger that abusive behaviors pose to individuals who are victims of them.”

“In order to prevent any more cruelly ending the lives of women, we need prompt and efficient police action in situations of domestic abuse.”

“Bail decisions are made by the police and independent judges, but anyone who commits a crime while on bail rightfully faces a tougher sentence,” a government spokesperson stated.

“In addition, suspects may be electronically marked and subject to severe restrictions like curfews. To further safeguard victims, we have reinforced bail requirements through Kay’s Law.”