Women's Aid say 'urgent review' needed after sentencing of Poppy Devey Waterhouse's killer Joe Atkinson

Poppy Devey Waterhouse was murdered in December at the flat she shared with ex-partner Joe Atkinson after the couple split two months earlier
Poppy Devey Waterhouse was murdered in December at the flat she shared with ex-partner Joe Atkinson after the couple split two months earlier
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A man who killed his ex-partner in a fit of rage did so because "if he couldn't have her then no one could", a women's charity have said.

Joe Atkinson was jailed for life with a minimum of 16 years on Friday for stabbing 24-year-old Poppy Devey Waterhouse at their Leeds flat in December last year.

Joe Atkinson, 25, was given a life sentence with a minimum of 16 years and two months at Leeds Crown Court for Poppy's murder.

Joe Atkinson, 25, was given a life sentence with a minimum of 16 years and two months at Leeds Crown Court for Poppy's murder.

Leeds Crown Court heard the pair had recently separated and that Atkinson, 25, had struggled to accept the relationship was over.

Now anti-domestic violence campaigners Women's Aid have slammed the 'inconsistent' sentence, saying an 'urgent review' is needed over the sentencing guidelines for men who kill their partners and ex-partners.

Women's Aid described the case as "tragic", and have urged the Government to do more to send a strong message to men who abuse their partners.

The charity's acting Chief Executive Nicki Norman said: "As in the tragic case of Poppy Devey Waterhouse, her abusive ex-partner knew that Poppy had decided to leave him once and for all. He then made the decision to make sure that if he couldn’t have her no one could, by taking her life in this brutal attack."

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Nicki also revealed that more than half of women killed by a former partner in the UK in 2017 were killed "within the first month", while "almost nine in ten were killed within the first year of separation".

Leeds Crown Court heard on Friday that Miss Devey Waterhouse had split with Atkinson in October after a healthy, three-year relationship in which the pair had met at university and even travelled together. Successful graduate and William Hill analyst Poppy had been due to move out of the apartment she had shared with Atkinson just days after she was killed on December 14.

Nicki added: “Far too often the sentences handed down for murder are inconsistent; according to the Femicide Census, the minimum sentences for men who murdered women in 2017 ranged from 11 years to 40 years.

"That’s why we need an urgent review into sentencing to ensure that our justice system hands down robust and consistent sentences that recognise the context of domestic abuse in cases of murder. Only through consistent sentencing can we ensure justice is delivered for victims and send out the powerful message that these men will not get away with fatal violence against women.”