TV show to recall Jane’s murder

Penny and John Clough have been interviewed for Countdown to Murder, looking into the death of their daughter, Jane (below).

Penny and John Clough have been interviewed for Countdown to Murder, looking into the death of their daughter, Jane (below).

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The relationship between a brutally murdered Blackpool nurse and the man who killed her is set to be examined on television tomorrow.

The documentary Countdown to Murder airs on Channel 5 at 9pm, and the episode Stalked to Death focuses on circumstances surrounding what is billed as a “frenzied and brutal knife attack in Blackpool”.

Jane Clough

Jane Clough

It looks at the murder of Jane Clough, 26, who was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend Jonathan Vass as she walked from her car to work at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on July 25, 2010.

At the time, Vass, 31, was on bail for raping her.

He was later jailed for life.

Jane’s parents John and Penny Clough of Nelson, were interviewed earlier this year for the series, when they were asked about their daughter’s relationship with Vass, the father of her daughter.

The show comes as Mr and Mrs Clough, who have campaigned for victims’ rights since their daughter’s death, have welcomed a change in the law which gives victims of crime the chance to have their say in court.

From December, victims will be able to read out their victim impact statements in court, describing how their lives have changed since the crime, before a judge has handed down a sentence.

Currently, victims can only give such statements as a written document, and only excerpts are read out by the prosecution prior to sentence.

Mr Clough said: “When we did our victim impact statement we were told it would be read out in court in its entirety and that Vass would not get access to it. They read out snippets of it.

“If we had been able to read it ourselves we would have been able to say everything we wanted to about how justice had not been carried out.

“Some people will find it hard to do, some will find it impossible.

“I think I would have liked to have had the opportunity to say something, but I don’t know whether I could have been physically able to do it.”

Mr Clough said the Victims’ Code was a good idea, but the benefit of it would have to be seen once it came into force.

Announcing the code, victim’s minister Damian Green said: “For too long victims have felt they are treated as an afterthought in the criminal justice system.

“No more. I am determined that victims are given back their voice and are fully supported.”

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