A Warwickshire policewoman pleaded guilty to a misconduct charge today following an independent inquiry into the fatal stabbing of a mother of three.
Pc Charlotte Hall admitted breaching the police code of conduct by failing to perform her duties "diligently and conscientiously" when she was called to the home of Colette Lynch two days before she was killed by her estranged partner.
Pc Hall, 30, and Pc Theresa Cottingham, who denies misconduct, are both appearing before a disciplinary hearing in Rugby.
Expected to last for up to five days, the hearing represents the first use by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) of powers allowing it to order forces to hold such hearings in public.
Pcs Cottingham and Hall, both beat officers with Warwickshire Police, were charged with misconduct following an investigation by the IPCC into the unlawful killing of Ms Lynch on February 3, 2005.
Neither officer is alleged to have acted criminally and the allegation against them is being brought under police service disciplinary powers. Presenting barrister Stephen Morley told the hearing that the alleged breaches of police regulations had taken place after an incident on February 1 at Ms Lynch's home in Garyth Williams Close, Rugby.
Ms Lynch, 24, was stabbed to death near her home by her former partner Percy Wright, who also attacked her mother.
Wright, 35, was later convicted of her manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and made subject to a hospital order under the Mental Health Act.
Mr Morley alleged that Pcs Cottingham and Hall had failed to follow Warwickshire Police's domestic violence and crime recording policy, take positive action to protect Ms Lynch, and failed to properly manage the "violent domestic incident" on February 1.
The barrister told the hearing that Wright was not arrested despite breaking a window at Ms Lynch's home with a wooden stick after a third officer judged him to be of "sound mind" and Ms Lynch declined to make a complaint of criminal damage.
Police records show that Pc Cottingham, 38, and Pc Hall arrived at Ms Lynch's home at 9.56pm, after the departure of Wright.
Ms Lynch told officers that she had cut herself climbing out of the broken window to run for help.
Wright was traced on February 1 to his home address in Rugby, where a constable decided not to arrest him. The hearing was told that Pc Hall wrote 11 words in her pocket book about the incident, while Pc Cottingham wrote nine words.
Mr Morley told the panel hearing the allegations: "Having left Colette, Pc Hall and PC Cottingham, it would appear, simply did nothing else. No arrangements were made to see Colette on any other date... no domestic violence form was filled out and no crime was logged or recorded. These two officers simply did nothing to protect Colette.
"We do not say that Colette would still be alive today if these two officers had carried out their duties properly and professionally that evening. It is, of course, impossible to know."
The hearing was also told that Ms Lynch, described by her family as a caring, optimistic and gentle person, had two children from a previous relationship and a two-year-old daughter by Wright.
Wright began to receive treatment for mental health problems in 2002 following the death of his sister from cancer and by the time of the killing he was thought to be psychotic and delusional.
The original IPCC investigation found that, over the two days leading up to the death of Ms Lynch, Warwickshire Police failed to treat the incident on February 1 in accordance with its domestic violence policy.
One officer resigned during the investigation and another officer received a written warning for failing to arrest Wright.
A control room worker was also given a final written warning by Warwickshire Police following the IPCC inquiry.