Rape law victory for family of murdered Barrowford nurse Jane

Jane Clough

Jane Clough

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THE parents of murdered Barrowford nurse Jane Clough have won a change in prosecution policy.

Jane (26) was stabbed to death by Jonathan Vass in July ,2010 while he was awaiting trial for raping her.

Although he was jailed for life in October that year, the rape charges were left to lie on file.

But Jane’s parents, John and Penny Clough, wanted Vass prosecuted for rape as well, so that on release he would be classed as a sex offender and placed on the sex offenders’ register.

Now the Cloughs have won a change in prosecution policy after it emerged the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, will announce that the Crown Prosecution Service should persist with rape charges except in exceptional circumstances.

Mr Starmer said: “Jane tried to bring Vass to justice for the appalling sexual crimes and rapes he committed against her.

“To this day, she has not received any justice for those crimes.

“The CPS should persist with the rape charges except in exceptional circumstances.”

Mr and Mrs Clough described the announcement as an “enormous step in the right direction”.

It marks the end of intensive lobbying by the couple to see that justice was done on all levels.

Mrs Clough said: “The law as it stood sent out the message that the way to avoid a rape prosecution was to murder someone, which was so wrong.

“Our issue was not only about the sentence, justice had to be done for all the crimes committed. Vass should have been made to go through a rape trial as well.

“If he is released, he should be classed as a sex offender as well as a murderer, and that goes for anyone like that, as monitoring for sex offenders is much more stringent.

“We have found it incredibly difficult to get this far, but Keir Starmer deserves a lot of credit.

“It is just a pity it has been victim-led, but it is one positive thing to come from Jane’s murder.”