‘Momentous’ bail debate for victims

Justice for Jane campaign outside Parliament - a previous demo with John and Penny Clough and Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson

Justice for Jane campaign outside Parliament - a previous demo with John and Penny Clough and Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson

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THE parents of murdered Blackpool nurse Jane Clough say a debate on bail law could be “momentous” for victims of rape or violence.

John and Penny Clough are heading to London to hear a Bail Act amendment – which would allow appeals against the decision of a crown court judge to grant bail – being put forward as part of a Bill currently going through Parliament.

Their 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.

And the couple are planning to hold a demonstration outside Parliament tomorrow afternoon prior to the debate being heard – and are inviting supporters to join them.

Mrs Clough said: “We need to try to get coverage and support for the bail amendment debate in Parliament. We have some big banners so if anyone is in London and wants to come to Parliament, we’d appreciate their support.

Click here to sign the petition

“We need politicians with a sense of justice to get somewhere. This could be momentous for victims of violence or rape.”

Mr Clough said the campaign was going from strength to strength with some influential backers in place.

He added: “MP Sadiq Khan’s team are involved along with Vera Baird, who was the former attorney general, who has helped word the amendment document.

“We are hoping some supporters from London will turn up for support.”

The Gazette understands Helen Goodman, the shadow minister on the Legal Aid Bill, has put forward the amendment to change the bail laws to allow an appeal against the decision of a crown court judge to grant bail.

It is similar to the bail amendment Bill put forward by Mr and Mrs Clough’s MP Andrew Stephenson in June, which is due to have a second reading in January.

The Parliamentary debate comes as Mr and Mrs Clough continue to rally support for the Justice for Jane campaign.

Their petition calling for changes to the bail law has been backed by The Gazette currently and now has 11,165 signatures.

Mr Clough added: “Please don’t forget to sign the petition.

“The next hearing is on January 20 – and we need many thousands of signatures to show support for the bail amendment bill.”