THE parents of a murdered Blackpool nurse say they are feeling positive despite proposed changes to the bail law being withdrawn from Parliament.
John and Penny Clough headed to London to hear the reading of the Bail Act amendment – which would allow appeals against the decision of a crown court judge to grant bail.
A bill is currently going through Parliament and the family hoped the change would prove “momentous” for victims of rape and violence.
Their 26-year-old daughter Jane was stabbed to death outside Blackpool Victoria Hospital by her ex-partner, Jonathan Vass, while he was out on bail after being charged with raping her.
But after a prolonged discussion – the amendment was withdrawn so options for the appeal process could be explored.
The family is not losing hope however, according to Mr Clough.
He said: “We were hopeful the amendment would be accepted but we’re not too disheartened.
“Crispin Blunt, Minister for Justice, said we’d made a lot of credible points which is a requirement for any change and we’ll take this forward.
“We are going away feeling positive and as though this was a significant step.”
In discussion, ministers said they were unhappy with a situation where a crown court judge could rule in an appeal over a judge of similar seniority.
They agreed an appeal should be heard by a higher court and the amendment was withdrawn so the issue can be explored.
Mr and Mrs Clough continue to rally support for the Justice for Jane campaign.
Their Gazette-backed petition calling for changes to the bail law now has 11,165 signatures. Click here to sign the petition
Gordon Marsden, MP for Blackpool South, has pledged to continue his support. He said: “The fact the amendment was withdrawn doesn’t mean it can’t be considered at a later stage in the bill process.
“I’m pleased John and Penny aren’t too disheartened as many of the principles behind the amendment were acknowledged.”