The Obscure Death of Dorothy Woolmer

Dorothy Woolmer, an 88 year old widow, was found dead in her home in Waltheof Gardens, Tottenham, north London on the weekend of 3 – 4th August. She had been raped before she was killed.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said Reece Dempster, 22, from Haringey, north London, had been charged with murder, rape, sexual assault by penetration and burglary. Assault by penetration usually involves penetration by an object. One can only hope that Dorothy Woolmer died quickly.

Today’s television news reports a man repeatedly stabbing a police officer who had stopped his van on a London street. The machete attack seems only to have stopped when the badly injured officer managed to fire his taser and immobilise the attacker. It was an appalling attack, but the officer’s condition is stable.

Unsurprisingly, national television news has covered the second story, but not the first. Equally predictably, Boris Johnson, our Prime Minister has spoken on television about the bravery of police officers and the need for more of them, but not the suffering of this unarmed and vulnerable woman. It seems the violation and killing of vulnerable, unarmed women continues to be of little interest to politicians and the media. Same old, same old.

News today suggests the number of women carrying knives is on the rise. The percentage increase looks alarming, but I suspect the numbers are small. In a way, it is hardly surprising that some young women, many subject to repeated humiliation, harassment and violence, carry knives.

After all, the police officer on the street, who was armed with a taser, survived. The unarmed old woman in her home died.

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