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Family of Louise Aitchison bring call for urgent inquiry to Holyrood

Caroline Lyon met MSPs in Holyrood (Jane Barlow/PA)
Caroline Lyon met MSPs in Holyrood (Jane Barlow/PA)

The family of Louise Aitchison, who was murdered two years ago, have urged MSPs to support their call for an inquiry into her death to begin quickly.

The 33-year-old was murdered by her partner Darryl Paterson on April 28, 2020.

Police later admitted a number of errors in the weeks before her murder, including failing to inform her of Paterson’s previous domestic abuse convictions.

Her mother Caroline Lyon, along with her brother Sean Aitchison and sister Stephanie Aitchison, met MSPs in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday as a cross-party group gathered for photographs to show their support.

The family is calling for the fatal accident inquiry (FAI) into her death to begin as a matter of urgency. The Crown Office has agreed that the FAI can take place.

Remembering Louise Aitchison; Saving Women’s Lives
A cross-party group gathered at Holyrood (Jane Barlow/PA)

Louise’s case was also brought up during First Minister’s Questions on the two-year anniversary of her death.

Nicola Sturgeon said: “I hope [an FAI] give the family answers and comfort.

“For my part I will continue to ensure the government acts in all possible ways to do everything it can to protect women from domestic abuse.

“I do believe that Louise’s family’s bravery and courage at such a sad time – and on such a sad day for them – will help with that.”

“I didn’t know Louise but I am sure not just that she was a wonderful young woman but I am sure she would be very proud of her family today.”

Scottish Labour MSP Monica Lennon told the PA news agency later: “I think it’s quite possible that the law needs to be strengthened.

“Clearly, as a society, we need to do more to eradicate male violence against women.”

She added: “As we heard from the First Minister, it’s really important that fatal accident inquiries can happen quickly because it would be really cruel if the family had to wait years and years for answers.

“So I think the call to action today is that this needs to happen as a matter of urgency so that lessons can be learned and that learning can be applied and lives can be saved.

“I think that will be Louise Aitchison’s legacy.”

Remembering Louise Aitchison; Saving Women’s Lives
The case was raised at First Minister’s Questions (Jane Barlow/PA)

On the night she was killed, Louise had called 999 when Paterson refused to leave her flat.

However he returned to the property an hour after police intervention and killed her.

Paterson later admitted killing the dental nurse at the home they shared in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire.

He had a history of domestic abuse convictions but was wrongly categorised as being “borderline” dangerous.

Despite a recommendation to formally warn Ms Aitchison about his history, she was not told of this before she was murdered.

Police Scotland have admitted they failed to pass on the information and have apologised to Ms Aitchison’s family.