A CRADLEY Heath grandmother’s death at the hands of her violent and abusive partner could have been prevented if agencies involved had not ‘missed several opportunities’, says a new report.

Tina Billingham, 54, was stabbed twice in her torso with a swordstick by Ronald Cooke – who was jailed for life for the murder – at their home in Old Hill in February 2017.

A report published by the Safer Sandwell Partnership has criticised several agencies for failing to act on clear signs of sustained domestic abuse at the hands of her “explosive” partner.

The report said that during the couple’s 17-year relationship, Cooke treated Tina as his “domestic slave” and that he had a history of domestic violence.

His litany of offences against previous partners included punching, kicking, ramming a car, vandalism and even attempting to run one down with his van.

He also had affairs with other women, including one who required hospital treatment for severe burns after Cooke threw boiling water over her – for which he was convicted of actual bodily harm but not jailed.

The report added that steroid user Cooke “scrutinised all communication devices” and “monitored her use of the car” to isolate mother-of-two Tina from her family.

It also stated that Cooke had a fascination with knives – owning several samurai and ceremonial swords, plus a crossbow and a pickaxe handle which, disturbingly, had Tina’s name scratched on it.

During their relationship, Tina visited her GP and three emergency departments at different hospitals with symptoms of mental – long-term depression – or physical trauma.

And in March 2013, she “made a significant disclosure to a nurse at her GP surgery, graphically describing the length and severity of the abuse she had experienced” and expressing fears Cooke could kill her.

Despite this, the report added, “only once in over ten years of living with domestic abuse did she receive the offer of a referral to a specialist domestic abuse service”.

The report also criticised hospitals for “missed opportunities” over Tina’s injuries and the Probation Service for its “early discharge” of Cooke’s Community order following his ABH conviction.

Also criticised were the “limited checks” made by Sandwell Council’s Housing and Communities Directorate (HCD) when Cooke was approved as a joint tenant with Tina.

Chief Superintendent Richard Youds, chair of the Safer Sandwell Partnership, said: "This was a terribly sad case and our thoughts and condolences are with Tina’s family and friends.

“It’s heartbreaking to read this review as we try to comprehend what life must have been like for Tina day in, day out. Her partner had subjected her to years of abuse and controlling behaviour.

“The report highlights several missed opportunities where organisations could have done more and worked together more effectively to support Tina.”

He added partner organisations accepted the findings of the review and improvemants have been made.

A statement on behalf of Tina’s family said: “No person should have to go through the pain of losing a loved one through domestic abuse.

“The loss has affected everyone who knew and loved Tina deeply. Our lives will never be the same again.

“Tina’s grandchildren are heartbroken and find it difficult to understand why she left them without saying goodbye and why she had to die.

“Following the outcome of the review, and the recommendations to address changes in practices and create an awareness for the services available for people being subjected to domestic abuse, we hope this may stop other families receiving that earth-shattering phone call or knock on the door.”

Anyone experiencing domestic abuse should call Black Country Women's Aid 0121 552 6448 or the free 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247.

In an emergency victims should call 999.