Pain that unites families in fight

Justice for Jane conference at the DeVere Hotel, Blackpool
Justice for Jane conference at the DeVere Hotel, Blackpool
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THE heartbroken parents of murdered children have joined forces to support the Justice for Jane campaign.

They share the same pain as the family of slaughtered Blackpool nurse Jane Clough as well as the same desire for the Government to make changes to the law.

Jean Taylor founded Families Fighting For Justice after the deaths of her sister Joyce, son Stephen and daughter Chantel, who were all murdered.

At the Justice for Jane conference in Blackpool, she said: “The best way to make change is to use your own sad experience. We have got to educate those in Parliament because they will never know how we feel.

“Only a mother or a father who has lost a child knows what that pain feels like.”

The families are supporting John and Penny Clough’s fight to give victims and the Crown Prosecution Service the opportunity to appeal judges’ bail decisions.

They also want earlier rape charges to be put before the court, instead of lying on file as part of a murder conviction.

Doreen Soulsby’s 29-year-old daughter Joanne Tulip was raped and murdered by Steven Ling in the early hours of Christmas Day 1997.

She said: “At the trial Ling pleaded guilty and the rape charges were laid on file. It’s the same thing that happened for John and Penny Clough.

“This is where there is a big loophole – where there is a guilty plea for murder, the rape trial doesn’t go ahead.”

Ling, 35, was later jailed for at least 20 years for the murder.

Doreen added: “I have made several attempts to resurrect the rape charges without success. I think John and Penny have been so brave and truly amazing in being able to tackle this loophole so quickly after the death of Jane.”

Andrew Jones’ son Andrew was attacked in 2003 in Liverpool City Centre and died the following day from serious head injuries. Only one of the gang allegedly involved in the attack went to court, but was later acquitted.

The family still have no justice – despite an inquest verdict of unlawful killing.

Mr Jones said: “I’m sure John and Penny will succeed with what they are trying to do. They have got lots of support behind them. We will get justice for Jane and Andrew and for all the others who have been taken by the hands of others.”