Blind eye to domestic violence in affluent society

It seems if you have a public profile, live in the leafy suburbs and have the coin for high powered lawyers then you can bash, emotions, financially and physically you missus and get away with.

You can even get away with killing her.

The leader of a Conservative council abused his wife for a decade before shooting them both dead, and was able to get away with it because authorities were “blinded by his public image”.

Keith Johnson, 58, shot his wife Andrea, 44, with her own shotgun at their home, before he turned the gun on himself, after leaving explicit instructions for their funerals, an inquest heard. 

A report into the deaths warned opportunities to spot abuse can be missed because of people’s public persona and perceptions about affluent areas not having domestic violence issues, after a diary written by Mrs Johnson was found and revealed she had suffered years of abuse from her husband – which was never picked up on.

Mr Johnson, leader of North Norfolk District Council and former Cromer mayor, killed his wife in December at their bungalow near Cromer in Norfolk. The inquest heard the pair had both had affairs, and Mr Johnson had asked his wife to come home after throwing her out the day before, lying in wait with a gun.

Norfolk Coroners’ Court heard how a diary kept by Mrs Johnson since 2004 explained how he would “change like the devil” and recorded incidents where he beat her.

A Domestic Violence Homicide Review was published after the inquest, and looked at how police, health authorities and other organisations were involved.

It found that despite being treated for depression and attempting suicide no one asked Mrs Johnson about abuse because “they had not received training to identify the signs and did not have the confidence to ask”.

Men who bash women are gutless individuals deserving of opprobrium and derision. The pity is some of them end up in high profile political jobs and no one can touch them.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.