10:32AM, Thursday 16 February 2012
The mother of a young woman stabbed to death by an obsessed ex-boyfriend has said a proposed reform in stalking laws could have saved her daughter's life.
Rana Faruqui was tending her beloved horse Toby in a field near Jennings Farm in Burnham when she was stabbed 16 times with a kitchen knife by Stephen Griffiths in August 2003.
Her mother Carol, of Horseguards Drive, said complaints about stalking are not taken seriously enough, leaving victims vulnerable to violence.
"There were too many mistakes running up to my daughter's death which may have cost her life," she said.
"Rana had already informed the police the brake pipes on her car had been cut but they didn't act soon enough. A week later she was dead."
The mother-of-three, who founded the charity Protection Against Stalking, was one of dozens of families and victims who gave evidence at an Independent Parliamentary Inquiry into Stalking Law Reform.
The results of the inquiry, published on Tuesday last week, called for key changes to be made in training, risk assessments, and treatment and sentencing of stalkers.
It also called for a new offence of stalking to be brought in concluding that existing laws on harassment are 'not fit for purpose'.
But Carol said better police training is needed as well as a change in law. She now lectures at the Thames Valley Police training college about stalking after the force admitted it hadn't acted on Rana's complaint quick enough.
Griffiths began following the 35-year-old day and night after their brief relationship ended in Easter 2003. In August that year he approached Rana as she was tending her horse. She called the police immediately but the operator could only listen as she was murdered.
Griffiths was jailed for life in 2004.
Carol said Rana's case may have started the 'ball of reform' rolling after MP Theresa May raised a question on stalking in the commons on the family's behalf.
She added: "We can only hope that Rana's death will lead to something better and that it hasn't been in vain."
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