Kiena Dawes: police refer themselves to watchdog and confirm man, 28, was arrested on suspicion of assaulting the mum-of-one

Lancashire Constabulary has referred itself to the police watchdog over its handling of the tragic case of young mum Kiena Dawes in the days before her death on the railway at Garstang.

The force, which investigated an incident two weeks ago where the 23-year-old hairdresser is alleged to have suffered a head injury, confirmed today it had reported the case to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Officers also revealed that a 28-year-old man from Fleetwood had been arrested on suspicion of assaulting her and had been released on bail pending further enquiries.

Kiena’s family have since released images showing of the 23-year-old with graphic head injuries. It is unclear how she sustained her wounds or when and how the injuries occurred.

The family of Kiena Dawes have released these images of the 23-year-old appearing to show her suffering a graphic head injury

What happened to Kiena Dawes?

Kiena, who had a nine-month-old daughter, was found dead on the railway near Garstang on Friday after going missing from her home in Fleetwood earlier that day.

The child is now being looked after by Kiena's brother Kynan Dawes who has had to give up his job as a self-employed builder to care for her.

An appeal fund to support little Marnie and her uncle - and help pay for Kiena's funeral - has raised more than £12,000 in just two days.

Police had contact with Kiena Dawes in the days before her death.

Why have Lancashire Police referred themselves to the watchdog?

Police forces must report themselves by law to the IOPC if they have had recent contact with anyone who later dies or is seriously injured.

Kiena's family say officers attended her home address after the alleged assault on July 11.

A spokesperson for Lancashire Police said today: "First and foremost our thoughts are with Kiena’s loved ones at this difficult time.

Lancashire Police headquarters at Hutton near Preston.

"We have referred ourselves to the IOPC (Independent Office for Police Conduct) in relation to contact we had with Kiena before her death.

"Therefore it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this time."

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What have police said about the man arrested on suspicion of assaulting Kiena Dawes?

Family say the birth of daughter Marnie made Kiena much happier.

In a separate statement the spokesperson said: "A 28-year-old man from Fleetwood was arrested on suspicion of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on July 11.

"He has since been released on conditional bail pending further enquiries."

What do Kiena Dawes’ family say?

Kiena's death has stunned family and friends who described her as "the most caring girl on the planet."

Although they say she had suffered with mental health issues, they said the birth of her little girl had made her "much happier."

She enjoyed her job as a stylist at a salon in Fleetwood and was in the process of moving house.

"She never had an argument with anyone in her life and never said a bad word about anyone," said brother Kynan.

"This has devastated everyone who knew her. It has come as a complete shock to us all.

"I'm going to look after little Marnie. She's perfectly fine, she's smiling. She's only nine months old so she obviously doesn't know anything is wrong.

"We're incredibly grateful to everyone who has donated to the GoFundMe page for little Marnie and also for their flowers and kind words.

To donate to the fund go to: https://www.gofundme.com/f/marnie-blu-dawes

Whatever you're going through, call the Samaritans free at any time, from any phone, on 116 123.