Every three days, in our #EveryThreeDays campaign we remember a woman killed by a man. Previously, this month we have remembered Suzanne Pilley, Raheela Shariff, Louise Smith, Claire Parry, Natalie Hemming, Jessica Patel and Melissa Belshaw.
In researching the stories of all the women killed by a man, I am finding (just three weeks in) that it becomes apparent how cruel - no utterly disgusting - some men can be. It also becomes draining on me to read various newspaper accounts of the victims because I build a picture in my mind of the woman who was killed.
Today May 23rd, I tell the story of Joanne Hamer, a lady who was beautiful on both the outside and inside.
Known as Jo, she worked as a Healthy Lifestyle Manager at North Lincolnshire Council. Jo cared about people and had worked in her job for six years. She was described as happy and hardworking, always with a smile on her face.
However, her marriage was not so happy - her husband of 27 years was Ian Harmer, who owned his own business and was an abuser of Jo.
Over the 27 years of marriage, he became an alcoholic and drug user, accused Jo of having affairs (the truth being he was having an affair) and generally bullied her badly.
Things came to a head on May 5th 2020, when Ian Harmer strangled Joanne with a dressing gown cord during an argument. He then went to a pub "without a care in the world", where he played pool, "laughing and joking" with people in the bar.
The next day, Jo's body was found, and Ian Harmer was arrested - Police know full well that a male partner or ex-partner invariably is a killer of women.
People who knew Jo were deeply shocked with one lying flowers outside the family home. The local newspaper, 'Grimsby Live' reported her death by contacting people who knew Jo them saying:
"It is absolutely dreadful to hear. You never expect something like this to happen in a village like Worlaby, it's a lovely place out here. To hear this is truly devastating."
Dawn Tune, a friend added: "So sad. Jo was a lovely caring lady. RIP Jo!"
Another close friend of Joanne's, who asked not to be named, said: "My thoughts are with the children, I hope they are doing as well as possible.
"My friend Jo was was a remarkable woman who would do anything to help. Although she liked to keep her life private, she was always willing to help others and put them before herself. That is rare in a person now. I hope she's in a better place."
Ian Harmer's trial was set for the following August, where he pleaded guilty of manslaughter but not guilty regarding the murder. He was, however, convicted, and in sentencing Hamer to life imprisonment, the judge said:
"You are a danger to women. It is clear having heard all of the evidence that everyone who knew Joanne knew her as a loyal, loving, caring long-suffering wife who was true to her vows".
Jo Hammer left behind her family and friends - killed by a man who was jealous and controlling. She suffered (privately) for years - while caring for others.
And the biggest tribute I can pay to Jo Hammer is to say if she had been my mum - I would have been very proud of her.
Rest in peace - Jo.
Joanne Hammer 1972 - 2020
Authored by Steph