Kevin Ashton has been sentenced to life with a minimum of 19 years in jail for murdering his partner in February.
Helen Joy’s family issued the following statement after the sentencing: “We are glad that we have got justice for our mum and he got what he deserved. We have finally got some closure but it will not bring our mum back. We just wish she was here today.”
Head of the Homicide Support Unit Dave Brunskill said, “Helen suffered brutal and sustained assaults at the hands of Kevin Ashton in the lead up to her death and I know her family have been left devastated not only by the loss of Helen but the manner in which she died.
“Ashton will now serve a substantial prison sentence for his actions and while it won’t ever bring Helen back I hope it gives her family a sense of closure.”
At around 10.40am on Monday 1 February this year emergency services were called to an address in Twickenham Drive, Leasowe, where they found the body of 54-year-old Helen Joy.
She was sadly pronounced dead at the scene. A post mortem revealed she died of multiple injuries with terminal hypothermia.
Her partner Kevin Ashton, 45, also of Twickenham Drive, was found guilty of murder on 14 October.
Head of the Homicide Support Unit Dave Brunskill said, “This was a particularly traumatic case and my thoughts go out to the family of Helen Joy who have suffered not only the loss of a loved one but also had to endure a trial as Ashton pleaded not guilty to his involvement in her death.
“Domestic abuse is a despicable crime. It is never acceptable, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, and it remains a priority for Merseyside Police to robustly investigate and prosecute offenders while continuing to support survivors.
“We continue to work with our partners to offer protection and support to women and girls who are faced with violence including increasing the number of officers in our specialist domestic abuse teams, utilising domestic violence prevention notices and also using the Domestic Violence Disclosure Schemes (DVDS), also known as Clare’s Law. This gives someone in a relationship ‘the right to ask’ for information from various agencies, including the police, about a partner’s previous convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings for any offence of violence.
“We are also focusing on evidence-led prosecutions which can be used in situations where the victim may decide that they don’t want to press charges.
“My message would be if you find yourself in a violent or controlling relationship, don’t be afraid to tell someone. Find the courage to come forward and get the help you deserve. There is a lot of help out there both from specialist officers within Merseyside Police and our partner organisations.
“I would also encourage neighbours and friends of those that are suffering from domestic abuse to speak up. Trust your instincts – if something you’ve seen or heard doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. By knowing the signs of domestic abuse, you could help a friend, colleague or family member. Domestic abuse isn’t just physical – it can be emotional, physical, sexual, financial or controlling behaviour.”
In a statement issued in February by Helen’s three children – two grown-up daughters and a son – said, “The news of our mum’s death came as a massive shock to us all and we are all heartbroken.
“We didn’t always see eye to eye but she was our mum and we are all devastated by what has happened.
“We are happy that mum is no longer in pain and is now safe with the angels and now we just want justice for her.”
Anyone with information on domestic abuse can contact @MerPolCC, 101 or @CrimestoppersUK, anonymously on 0800 555 111
If someone is in immediate danger they should dial 999 and speak to an operator but we also accept that openly speaking is not always an option.
The Silent Solution is a service which means a vulnerable person can call 999 and alert us, by pressing ’55.’ This will indicate that help is needed and we will respond.