Mother and baby found dead after 50 minute police delay

Police at the scene.

Police at the scene. - Credit: Archant

Police took almost 50 minutes after they were first alerted to gain access to a house where a mother and her baby were found dead.

The bodies of Valerie Forde, 45, and her 23-month old daughter, Real-Jahzarah McKoy, were discovered by officers in Oswald’s Mead, Hackney, on Monday.

Roland McKoy, 53 – who was understood to be in a relationship with the victim and living at the same address – was also found injured at the house.

He remains in custody after being arrested on suspicion of murder.

A source told the Gazette Ms Forde’s elder daughter had alerted police after receiving a distressed call from her mother, with shouting in the background.

The source said officers received no answer at the property but claimed they were unable to force entry as the occupant had not called them.

They drove to a nearby school to collect the house keys from one of Ms Forde’s children, it was claimed.

Most Read

Police confirmed that they had received a call at 9.11am and said officers had arrived at the scene by 9.17am. However, they did not enter the property until shortly after 10am.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman could not comment on why there was a delay in entering the house. The source said: “By the time the police got there the daughter was outside, telling at them to hurry up and get inside.

“She was upset because she thought it was taking too long. By then all the neighbours were outside. Someone had to go and get the keys from the kids at school.”

It is claimed that there had been previous concerns over domestic violence relating to the address.

Following the discovery of the bodies, Scotland Yard’s previous contact with Ms Forde was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)

A spokesman for the IPCC said it would assess the referral before deciding whether any further steps would be taken.

The mother and daughter, who were formerly identified on Tuesday, were pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination of Real-Jahzarah’s body was due to take place at Great Ormond Street Hospital yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon. Her mother’s body will be examined today (Thursday) at Poplar Mortuary.

Mr McKoy remains in hospital in a stable condition.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter