Father of murdered Barrowford nurse Jane Clough welcomes new crime code (From Burnley and Pendle Citizen)
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Father of murdered Barrowford nurse Jane Clough welcomes new crime code
VICTIMS and campaigners have welcomed a new code giving those affected by crime the chance to speak out in court.
Under the code, victims will be able to choose to explain to the court and offender how a crime has affected them by reading a Victim Personal Statement.
Judges will then take this into account when sentencing, the Ministry of Justice said.
Until now, judges read personal statements in private with only fragments read aloud to the court by prosecutors.
John Clough and his wife Penny launched a campaign after daughter Jane, a nurse, was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend. He said he would have liked the chance to address her killer in court.
Jane, of Barrowford, was murdered by Jonathan Vass in Blackpool Victoria Hospital car park in July 2010.
Mr Clough said: “We did a victim impact statement at the time and understood that it would be read out in court and a copy given to the judge. But there were only snippets read out, which out of context lost some of their meaning.
“I would have loved the opportunity to speak out in court, although whether I would have been able to on the day is another matter.”
Blackburn MP Jack Straw, former minister for justice, said: “This is part of changes I started bringing in some years ago. It is all about bringing victims out of the shadows and into the centre of the criminal justice process.”
Graham Sandham, from Lancashire Victim Support, said it was a ‘step in the right direction’. He said: “Working with victims day by day, we know they often feel left on the sidelines.” He added: “We believe this is a real step in the right direction and look forward to working with our Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw and other partners to ensure the code is effectively implemented for victims we support throughout East Lancashire.”
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