Wednesday, January 17, 2024
A man has been jailed for life for murdering his partner Fiona Robinson in Chorley.
Jason Gowen, 27, of Congress Street, Chorley, was sentenced at Preston Crown Court this morning, having previously admitted killing 37-year-old Fiona.
Fiona’s body was found at an address on Congress Street in the early hours of May 26th 2023, after Gowen called 999 reporting that she was unconscious. He initially told officers he thought Fiona had had her drink spiked while out the previous night and had become ill.
However, CCTV of Fiona during her evening out and on making her way home showed that she was walking normally. Crucially, it also showed no evidence that she was in any pain. She was fit and well when she walked through her front door, where Gowen was waiting for her.
Over the next 24 hours, Gowen brutally assaulted Fiona before calling for an ambulance in the early hours of 26th May. When paramedics attended they found Fiona. Her body was covered in bruises, bite marks and she had cuts to her face. Officers also found multiple holes in the walls of the address and a damaged suitcase close to her body.
A post-mortem examination found she had died from multiple injuries, and in particular the pathologist found bruising around her neck consistent with strangulation and evidence of suffocation. She had 16 fractured ribs, five fractures to her lumbar spine process and significant bruising, both old and fresh, over her entire body.
Gowen and Fiona had been in a relationship for 15 months, after Fiona moved to Chorley from Barrow-in-Furness to live with him. During that time there were a number of concerns raised by friends and colleagues of Fiona in relation to injuries that they had observed and also the control they believed Gowen to have over her.
Some of these led to reports to police and subsequent investigations and a disclosure under Clare’s Law was made to Fiona. This revealed that Gowen had previously been the subject of domestic abuse reports with a number of previous partners and that he had also been charged with an offence of assault on a previous partner which was proceeding through the court process.
That case would not reach its conclusion at court before the murder of Fiona Robinson, and Gowen has been sentenced in relation to those offences today too.
Fiona’s family have since spoken out about the impact of Fiona’s death – and are urging anyone in an abusive relationship to speak out and get help.
Gowen previously appeared in court on 27th October 2023 where he pleaded guilty to murder.
He has now been sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 20 years. For the offences committed against a previous partner he received40 weeks which will run concurrently.
Domestic abuse is classed as any incident or pattern of incidents that includes emotional, physical, sexual and financial abuse as well as controlling behaviour.
In December we launched our #noexcuseforabuse campaign.
Agencies and organisations that can help those living in abusive relationships can be found at noexcuseforabuse.co.uk