Bail law put into action

Jane's parents John and Penny Clough
Jane's parents John and Penny Clough
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A MOTHER has spoken of her joy after a new law to save victims from harm was finally put into action after years of campaigning.

Penny and John Clough launched their Gazette-backed Justice for Jane campaign to change the bail laws after their daughter Jane, 26, was brutally murdered by her former partner Jonathan Vass.

And now probation staff and prosecutors have been given the training they need to put the changes – spearheaded by the Cloughs – into action in the courts.

Vass, now 32, was on bail when he attacked Jane, a nurse, at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, in July 2010. But the new law will give the Crown Prosecution Service the right to appeal bail decisions by crown court judges.

Mrs Clough said: “It’s great news for victims.

“I’m hoping it will protect and save lives.

“Victims will be that little bit safer and that means everything to me because Jane was a victim.

“It’s fantastic to know the law is happening and to get feedback from people involved.”

The new law forms part of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO).

Ian Rushton, deputy crown prosecutor for the North West, said: “One of the most significant provisions in the Act is the prosecutor’s right of appeal against decisions by crown court judges to grant bail.

“The CPS supported Mr and Mrs Clough’s campaign for Parliament to approve such a measure. This is a valuable option for prosecutors to consider where there is a serious or significant risk of harm to any member of the public.

“Prosecutors throughout England and Wales have received guidance about the availability and appropriate use of the provision which is now a key part of case review.”

A spokesperson for Lancashire Probation Trust added: “Staff have received briefings on LASPO as part of their ongoing training.

“These changes have formed part of the general LASPO briefing to ensure staff are kept up to date and continue to provide high quality services.”

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