The family of Kellie Sutton believe they are "finally getting justice" for the Welwyn Garden City mother, after a ground-breaking inquest ruled she was unlawfully killed.

The 30-year-old mother-of-three was found unconscious at the Pollards Close home she shared with Steven Gane on August 23, 2017.

A previous inquest at Hertfordshire Coroner's Court concluded she died by suicide, but this now been overturned following a new hearing in Hatfield on July 6, run by the Cambridgeshire Coroner's Office.

The decision is a ground-breaking one, as it is believed to be the first time an inquest has returned a conclusion of unlawful killing after a woman has taken her own life following domestic abuse.

Get more stories like this delivered to your inbox every week by signing up to the Welwyn Hatfield Times In Brief newsletter.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Steven Gane.Steven Gane. (Image: Herts police)

In March 2018, Gane was jailed for four years and three months for controlling and coercive behaviour, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assault by beating.

"When she died, it was ruled as a suicide by the coroner, but we weren’t going to accept that," said Kellie's mother, Pamela Taylor. 

"We had that thrown out and then we had a jury trial. The verdict was changed to unlawful killing and that’s the first ever case in this country where that has happened.

"This is something we’ve fought for now for many years."

And Pamela feels she is finally getting "justice" for Kellie, continuing: "For them to say it was suicide, and us to know it wasn’t really hurt.

READ MORE: Teenagers arrested after boy stabbed in Welwyn Garden City

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Kellie's mother, Pamela, feels she is finally getting justice for her daughter.Kellie's mother, Pamela, feels she is finally getting justice for her daughter. (Image: Pamela Taylor)

"Not one person who knew Kellie said it was suicide, and for that to be overturned was massive.

"We have also received an apology from the police. We feel we’re finally getting justice for Kellie."

Following the inquest verdict, the family called on the Crown Prosecution Service to "reconsider this case and to charge Steven Gane with unlawful act manslaughter, so he can also be held accountable in the criminal courts."

The inquest jury also agreed that opportunities to save her life were missed by Hertfordshire police.

On July 9, 2017, officers were called to her house by worried neighbours. They spoke to Kellie and Gane, but crucially left without checking on the welfare of her children or speaking to the neighbours.

Despite telling police she was "frightened" of a "very angry and aggressive" Gane, and that she was depressed, she her risk was judged to be "standard" in the Domestic Abuse Risk Assessment.

Detective Chief Superintendent Amanda Bell, who heads the constabulary’s safeguarding command, said: "Kellie’s death was an absolute tragedy and as a force we have made huge progress to better understand the complexities of coercive behaviour which includes improved officer training and more robust reporting systems.

"We accept the findings of the jury inquest and will continue to strive to improve the way we support vulnerable victims, working with partner agencies and other sectors.

“Throughout the difficult years since Kellie died her family have supported our work and ambition to improve the way we investigate these types of often hidden crimes and we think of them again now."

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Pamela described her daughter as amazing in an emotional tribute.Pamela described her daughter as amazing in an emotional tribute. (Image: Pamela Taylor)

Remembering her daughter, an emotional Pamela added: "Kellie was amazing. She had three young children, and she was happy.

"She only knew him for five months, and he turned her from someone who was confident, had her hair done nice and wore nice clothes, to someone who was an empty shell by the time he finished with her.

"She couldn’t take anymore and that was it."