New Year Honours List 2012: 'Honour Killing' Probe Officer DCI Caroline Goode Awarded

'Honour Killing' Probe Officer Receives Queen's Police Medal

A senior police officer who led a complex investigation into an "honour killing" said today it was a "massive honour - in the true sense of the word" to receive a medal from the Queen.

DCI Caroline Goode from the Metropolitan Police Homicide and Serious Crime Command was given the Queen's Police Medal for distinguished service in the New Year's Honours List.

The 49-year-old, from south London, was given the award after she headed the investigation into the murder of Banaz Mahmod, 20, who was killed in 2006 by members of her family.

Banaz, of Mitcham, Surrey, was subjected to an horrific assault, strangled, and stuffed in a suitcase found buried under a Birmingham patio three months later.

Her father, Mahmod Mahmod, and uncle, Ari Mahmod, ordered the killing, which was carried out by three other men, Mohammad Hama, Mohammed Ali and Omar Hussain.

They disapproved of a man she had fallen in love with.

The Mahmod brothers and Hama, members of the Kurdish community, were jailed at the Old Bailey in 2007, but cousins Ali and Hussain were sent to prison this year after being extradited from Iraq.

DCI Goode said: "It was an incredibly complex and very challenging investigation, not least because there were upward of 50 people involved in it, either in the murder itself, or subsequently to pervert the course of justice.

"It was rewarding because it was so challenging in the first place.

"But a lot of the things that drive us forward is to get a result for the family - to achieve some measure of justice and closure for a victim's family.

"And in this case it was actually her family that had murdered her, so that's quite an unusual thing, but that drove us on, particularly to get a good result for Banaz."

The detective, who joined the Met in 1981 when she was 18-years-old, said receiving the medal was a personal achievement but she also praised the team who worked to bring Banaz's killers to justice.

"It's a fantastic award - I can't tell you quite what it means to me," she said, "It's a massive honour - in the true sense of the word.

"I didn't achieve this by myself - it's all teamwork. None of these things are achieved on our own and I had a fantastic team."

Since the investigation, during which DCI Goode travelled to Iraq to secure the extradition of the suspects, she has worked to ensure other police officers know more about "honour killings" and violence.

She said: "When I took over this investigation, I had virtually no knowledge of honour-based violence whatsoever.

"I wanted to make sure that no other senior investigating officer would come into an investigation in the same position, so I've done a lot around training senior investigators.

"It's really important that all police officers have their awareness raised about honour-based violence so we can recognise the symptoms and provide a good service to all of our victims."

Asked if the award had particular significance for a woman, she said: "I would say it's very rewarding for one woman in particular to be able to provide a service for other women, and I hope that it gives members of the public confidence to come forward and report it.

"I've never thought of policing as being a male- dominated environment. I think when I first joined 30 years ago, it was fair to say there was a large percentage of men in the organisation, but there have always been opportunities for women to thrive in this organisation."


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