Lancashire

Jane Clough murder: PM says 'strong case' to change law

The Prime Minister has said there will be changes to the law on bail following a campaign by the family of a murdered nurse from Lancashire.

Jane Clough, 26, was stabbed to death by her ex-partner Jonathan Vass in July 2010. He was on bail accused of raping her.

Ms Clough's family have campaigned for a change in the law since the murder.

David Cameron told the House of Commons that there was "a strong case for changing the law".

Answering a question from the Conservative MP for Pendle, Andrew Stephenson, Mr Cameron said an amendment would be added to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Bill.

After expressing his sympathy to Jane Clough's family, he said the amendment would create "a right of appeal to High Court judges against the grant of bail by a crown court".

"I hope this will improve the law, be more helpful to victims and give some satisfaction to the family," he said.

'Right to safety'

Ms Clough's parents, Penny and John, said they were "delighted" with the decision.

Mr Clough said: "It's time a defendant's right to freedom was superseded by the victim's right to safety. That's all we're asking for.

Image caption Jane Clough's family have said she would still be alive if the CPS could challenge bail decisions

"To have to most senior politician behind you at this stage is very gratifying."

The bill is at the committee stage in the House of Lords.

Mr Stephenson put forward his Private Members Bill on 28 June which attracted support from more than 50 MPs.

The Labour MP for Bishop Auckland and shadow justice minister Helen Goodman tried to make an amendment in October citing Mr Stephenson's Bail (Amendment) Bill.

Ms Clough was stabbed 71 times by Vass, 30, outside Blackpool Victoria Hospital where she worked as a nurse.

Vass, of Conway Drive, Preston, pleaded guilty to murder and was jailed for life with a minimum term of 30 years last October.

The rape charges were ordered to lie on file.

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