Jane Clough's parents win bail law changes

CAMPAIGN Jane Clough

CAMPAIGN Jane Clough

First published in Barrowford Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

THE House of Lords has backed changes to the bail laws after a campaign by the parents of the murdered East Lancashire nurse Jane Clough.

Peers said John and Penny Clough deserved a ‘standing ovation’ for their efforts in getting the Bail Act amendment backed by all sides.

Miss Clough, 26, from Barrowford, was stabbed by her former partner Jonathan Vass. He was on bail accused of raping her.

The amendment allows prosecutors to appeal against a crown court judge’s bail ruling at the High Court.

Mr Clough said: “It’s time a defendant’s right to freedom was superseded by the victim’s right to safety. That’s all we’re asking for.”

Deputy Lords leader Lord McNally said peers were effectively approving “Jane’s law”.

“Our conclusion was that without calling into question the correctness of decisions made by the crown court judges in the vast majority of cases, it is not right that such decisions should be beyond challenge.

“We are persuaded of the case for changing the law in order to ensure that victims and their families and the public at large are protected.”

For the opposition, Lord Beecham said every so often “tragic incidents” led to legal changes and the “brutal murder” of Ms Clough was one such occasion.

Ms Clough’s parents have said they believe their daughter would still be alive if the Crown Prosecution Service had the right to challenge bail decisions in 2010.

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