THE family of a woman who was murdered at the barbers where she worked said their focus is now on preventing other families from suffering similar tragedies.

Following a 12-day inquest, a jury delivered a conclusion that 44-year-old hairdresser Katrina O'Hara was unlawfully killed.

Ms O'Hara was killed by Stuart Thomas on January 7, 2016, at Jocks Barbers in Blandford Forum.

Thomas was later convicted of her murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 26 years.

A statement from the family read by daughter Morgan outside Bournemouth Town Hall, where the inquest took place, said: “This inquest has been another painful chapter in our beautiful mum’s story. It has been incredibly difficult to listen to some of the evidence over the past few weeks and we’re glad it is finally over.

“Having lived through our mum’s fear and witnessed the police’s actions, we still feel that that there were some very serious failings in the way the police responded to our mum. We will always feel let down by them. However, looking back and criticising others achieves nothing, so our focus is on how we can prevent such an awful tragedy happening to other families.

“We’re heartened that as a result of what happened to our mum, Greater Manchester Police has changed their policy about mobile phones and stalking victims to ensure that no-one at risk is left without a phone. We hope other forces will follow suit.

"While we recognise that Dorset Police have made some changes as a result of our mum’s death, we’re not convinced their policy is as straightforward as it should be."

This morning, assistant coroner for Dorset Brendan Allen concluded the inquest and said he would be issuing a preventing future deaths report to the relevant authorities.

His report will be sent to minister for policing Kit Malthouse MP and National Police Chiefs Council lead for domestic abuse Deputy Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe, of West Midlands Police.

Mr Allen said he will raise concerns about four issues that came to light during Ms O'Hara's inquest.

These concerned handling of 999 calls, providing victim's with a replacement mobile while theirs is seized for evidence, police training for a widely used reporting system and the risk to a victim being higher when their perpetrator is suicidal.

The inquest heard that Dorset Police had made improvements and changes in all of these areas since Ms O'Hara's death, but the coroner wanted to ensure similar lessons could be learned by forces across the country.

“We’re also grateful to the coroner for issuing a prevention of future deaths report and we look forward to seeing how the minister for policing responds to this," said Morgan.

“As we’ve said before, our mum’s case is not unique and our only hope is that her death will serve as a wake-up call to the government and police forces across the country to not brush domestic violence issues under the carpet. As a family we would like to urge anyone going through domestic abuse to speak out and seek help.

“We miss so many things about our mum, her witty remarks, her out of tune humming and most of all her ability to always put her family first. We’re heartbroken that her grandchildren can’t experience the love that she showed us when we were growing up.

“It’s been four long years since mum died and we now hope that we can move on positively with our lives away from court and in private. We want our mum’s death to stand for positive change.”

Mr Allen said Ms O'Hara's family had been dignified throughout the hearing and offered his condolences.

He said the way they had conducted themselves was a testament to themselves and Ms O'Hara.