An inquest in to the death of Michaela Hall found she would still be alive today if it hadn’t been for a catalogue of errors and mismanagement.

The inquest in Truro was told how mistakes had been made by various agencies in the run up to the death of Michaela Hall at her home in Mount Hawke on May 31, 2021.

Cornwall Coroner Andrew Cox found that Michaela died from a stab wound to the head after she was attacked by Lee Kendall who she had taken into her home and had a history of violence against her.

Falmouth Packet: Lee Kendall was found guilty of her murderLee Kendall was found guilty of her murder

He was sentenced to a minimum of 21 years in prison after being convicted of her murder at Truro Crown Court in 2022.

However in his findings of fact, which took Mr Cox nearly four hours to read out, he found that Michaela might still have been alive today if the proper steps had been taken by various agencies.

He said that Michaela was a 49-year-old mother of two who lived in Mount Hawke, Cornwall.

In early 2018 she worked as a volunteer for an organisation providing support to prisoners to assist them in making a fresh start.

She lost her role as a consequence of being unable to maintain professional boundaries.

Later that year she was employed by a charity providing support to vulnerable and at risk individuals. That charity was not aware of the circumstances in which she lost her previous role because it did not follow up on her references provided by the charity.

If this had happened she would not have got the job and would not have started a relationship with one of their clients, Kendall, a prolific offender.

He assaulted her on a number of occasions and was recalled to prison. When he was released their relationship continued.

In April 2021 Kendall pleaded guilty to two counts of common assault upon Michaela. The charges were originally ABH but Michaela would not support the prosecution so the lesser charges were accepted by the CPS.

He was assessed as posing medium risk of serious harm to Michaela in a pre-sentence report written by a junior probation officer which was only skim read by her manager due to the ‘horrendous pressure on the organisation during another government restructure.

Consequently he was given a community order and given to community rehabilitation company for Offender Management. “To an offender like Kendall these sentences were next to meaningless,” said the coroner.

The inquest was then told that on May 31, 2021 Kendall stabbed Michaela through the eye.

Acting upon information received regarding a concern for her welfare, the police attended her home address but did not enter. Despite having the power to enter they did not, although Michaela had probably already died. At this point they were unaware of the stabbing. 

The coroner recorded a narrative conclusion that Michaela was unlawfully killed.

He said there were shortcomings in a recruitment process when she was employed in a role she was known to be temperamentally unsuitable for, given an inability to respect and maintain professional boundaries.

Mr Cox also said a pre-sentence report for the common assaults on Michaela by Kendall was wrongly completed by a junior probation officer who was “insufficiently qualified or experienced to undertake the task.”

“The risk of serious harm Michaela's partner posed to her was wrongly assessed as medium rather than high; this meant her partner's management in the community was inappropriately allocated to a community rehabilitative company rather than the national probation service,” he said.

“Had the shortcomings and the errors not occurred it is more likely than not that Michaela would not have died when she did,” added the coroner. 

Mr Cox will now write a Prevention of Future Deaths report.