A horrifying case reached a disappointing conclusion in this week’s episode of 24 Hours in Police Custody, as audiences watched Bedfordshire Police’s Alicia Lawrence lead an investigation into the abuse suffered by Paul Jenner, 41, inflicted by his partner Sherry Naidoo, 37.
Repeatedly abused by his spouse, Jenner was admitted to Luton and Dunstable Hospital twice in one year; the second time as a result of violence from Naidoo just days after her release from prison, after being sentenced following another particularly nasty assault.
Her first official charge saw the judge sentence her to 50 weeks, meaning she was released immediately with time served. Attacking Jenner once again after reclaiming her freedom, she caused two bleeds on his brain. Jenner later had a heart attack whilst in hospital, resulting in his falling into a coma and the withdrawal of life support when his brain didn’t engage with any of the treatments doctors had given him.
What did we see happen in the show?
Following Naidoo’s assault on Jenner, we saw her arrested on suspicion of causing the harm to her partner; something she immediately denied. Her attempts to charge the officers and authoritative figures around her were clear: she would call them “darling” and insist that she’d be home on the same night.
Upon arriving at the station, she admitted “I do like alcohol” and, when asked if she had any allergies, joked with the person interviewing her: “I’m allergic to men”.
Officer Lawrence was seen to be worried that Jenner wouldn’t push forward with pressing charges on his abusive partner, as he had refused to name her as his assaulter multiple times in the past. This time was different however: he had made a 999 call and named her as the one to have attacked him, leading to his brain bleeds and landing him in hospital.
“People that love you don’t hurt you like that,” the call handler told Jenner, as he admitted he would have to finally get out of the relationship. When he was in a stable condition at the hospital however, he would change his story.
Visited by officers, he told them that the “police have got it all wrong” and that he had “hit his head on the wall”, before asking when Naidoo would be released from custody.
It was disappointing but, Naidoo would still be interviewed at Luton Police Station. Though she refused to speak at first, she did eventually crack after listening to Jenner’s 999 call, labelling it as “bulls**t” before continuing to deny the charge. Her lawyer would then interrupt and call a break. When she returned, it was back to silence up to the point of the interview’s conclusion.
With the evidence they had, an application for a GBH charge was made to the CPS, which was granted under Section 18. This meant that they could go ahead with charging Naidoo with GBH with intent, which carried a sentence up to life.
Officer Lawrence made a final visit to Jenner in hospital after the charge, giving him another chance to get on board and help ensure Naidoo would be locked up following the assault.
“Sherry’s been locked up for no reasson this time,” he would say. “I give you my word, it weren’t [her]”, he claimed, saying he was “pissed up” and fell into a shoe rail.
“It doesn’t have to be this way,” he was told, before being informed of the options of housing via a refuge.
Six days after that visit, Jenner slipped into a coma following a heart attack and would never wake up. It left the investigating team stunned, but more intent than ever in doing their best to see justice prevail.
How long did Sherry Naidoo get in prison following Paul Jenner’s death?
The team in Luton wanted the GBH charge changed to one of murder. It meant that they would have to prove a link between the heart attack - his cause of death - and the assault he had sustained at the hands of Naidoo.
When the case went to the Judge, they ruled that there was insufficient evidence to do just that.
The decision came after a neuropathologist agreed with the defence, that Jenner's brain bleed could have started back when Naidoo was already in custody for an offence prior.
A pathologist also helped the defence's case, as they were incapable of ruling out Jenner stumbling to the floor after drinking.
Naidoo admitted she had assaulted Jenner and, the Judge accepted she had an “extremely troubled” past, suffering at the hands of a domestic violence abuser herself.
She would be sentenced to just 16 months in prison.
In a recent episode of 24 Hours in Police Custody, we saw 23-year-old McCann accused of attempted murder after shooting a stranger in the chest at a local convenience store in Luton, in what has been described as a “lone gunman going on a bit of a rampage” by the detective investigating…
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