Police received reports suspect ‘threatened to kill’ Amy-Leanne Stringfellow before murder
The police watchdog is investigating how South Yorkshire officers dealt with reports that a man assaulted and threatened to kill a woman before her death.
Terence Papworth, aged 45, died in his cell at HMP Leeds on Sunday, just days before he was due to go on trial for the murder of Amy-Leanne Stringfellow.
Amy, a 26-year-old mum, died at builder Papworth’s home in Dryden Road, Balby, in June.
She was found critically injured but despite the attendance of emergency services could not be saved and was pronounced dead a short time later.
Papworth, with whom Amy had been in a relationship, was charged with her murder and remanded in custody pending his trial, which was due to begin next week.
South Yorkshire Police referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) over prior contact the force had with Amy before her death.
The investigation is focusing on whether the decision-making and actions of the police were in accordance with policies and guidance.
It has emerged today that the force had received reports that Papworth had assaulted and threatened to kill Amy before she was murdered.
An IOPC spokesperson said: “Our investigation into South Yorkshire Police’s contact with Amy-Leanne Stringfellow prior to her death was formally suspended while criminal proceedings were ongoing to avoid any risk of prejudice.
“We have now been informed that the suspect charged with her murder has died in prison, and the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will commence an investigation into his death.
“As the criminal trial into Ms Stringfellow’s death will now not proceed we have resumed our independent investigation which is considering the manner in which South Yorkshire Police investigated allegations of assault and threats to kill Ms Stringfellow made prior to her death.
“We will continue to keep Ms Stringfellow’s family, the force and the coroner updated on our progress.”
Detectives have confirmed that ‘nobody else’ is being sought over Amy’s murder.
Amy was a mum-of-one and a fitness instructor.
She was a former soldier and had served in Afghanistan.
In the wake of her death, her heartbroken family described her as ‘beautiful and kind’ and said she ‘inspired so many others’.