Heartbroken parents speak of 'hell' since daughter’s murder in Derbyshire

The heartbroken parents of murder victim Keely McGrath have spoken about the ‘hell’ they have suffered one year on from her death.

Monday, 16th December 2019, 12:09 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 1:28 pm
Martin and Claire,

Mother-of-five Keely McGrath was killed by her partner, Anthony Davis, at their home in South Normanton.

The 30-year-old's death devastated her family and sent shockwaves through their lives that will be felt for many years to come.

For Keely’s parents, Martin and Claire, the awful news of Keely's death also brought with it a terrible revelation - that Keely had been a victim of controlling behaviour and domestic abuse for several years.

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In an emotional video released by Derbyshire Constabulary, Martin and Claire share their daughter’s story, and say they don’t want anyone else to suffer the way they have in the last year.

During the video Claire said: “I don’t want anyone else to suffer the way we have, because it’s hell. The hole that she’s left behind is massive.”

The family only learned of the abuse during Davis' crown court trial, after which he was found guilty of murder and jailed for life with a minimum of 24 years.

They decided to share their story on the anniversary of Keelys death, in the hopes that other victims of similar domestic abuse may see that they are not alone.

In three chapters, posted on Derbyshire police's Facebook page, Martin and Claire explain the relationship between Keely and Davis through their eyes, and how Davis' abuse was eventually revealed to them.

Martin and Claire describe how they thought Keely, 30, was happy and settled with Davis, bringing up their children.

However, behind closed doors, Keely was subjected to physical and non-physical domestic abuse.

During the video, Martin tells of the unimaginable moment Davis broke the news to him that Keely had died.

He said: “Just gone midday I got a phone call. I knew I was being set up for some bad news because he asked me was I alone, was I driving.

“But even then, I thought the bad news was that they had split up. Either he’s kicked her out or she’s left him.

“And then he just said ‘Keely’s passed away’, and that wasn’t what I was expecting.

“My reaction was what, say that again? He said she’s died, and again my reaction was confused.

“And then he said quite forcefully ‘she’s dead’”.

“I think I paused for a few seconds and said how, why? And he said something along the lines of she’s hurt herself badly, I don’t know anymore, the police are coming and I’ll tell you more when I know.

“The conversation lasted about 90 seconds and I was struck by how he wanted to get off the phone.”

Nottingham Crown Court heard during a three-week trial which concluded on July 15 2019, how Anthony Davis, 39, of Alfred Street, South Normanton, beat Keely McGrath, to death on December 13, 2018.

Davis, who ran haulage and plant hire businesses, had pleaded not guilty but was found guilty by a jury of murder.

Claire and Martin hope that by telling Keely’s story, anyone in a similar situation will be able to seek help.

For information about domestic abuse, see: https://www.derbyshire.police.uk/domesticabuse