The Solicitor - The FindLaw UK Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog

Criminal law: Director of Public Prosecution announces law change on rapes linked to murders

The father of an A&E nurse who was stabbed 71 times by a man facing charges for her rape has won a change in the law which could see her murderer prosecuted for the outstanding rape charges.

Jane Clough was murdered by her former partner and paramedic Jonathan Vass whilst he was on bail accused of her rape.

He subsequently admitted killing her and was jailed for life in October 2010 with the judge setting a minimum tariff of 30 years.

Miss Clough had accused Mr Vass of repeatedly raping her at home whilst she was pregnant with his daughter. He was granted bail by Judge Simon Newell and subsequently plotted to kill her, ambushing her in the car park of the hospital where she worked as she arrived for a night shift. Colleagues attempted to save her life but she died from horrific wounds.

Mr Vass is currently being held at Strangeways high-security prison in Manchester, where prison staff noted that he shows no remorse for the killings, blaming Miss Clough entirely for his actions.

The family of Miss Clough believed that they were denied justice as although he had been sentenced for her murder he would not face trial for the original rape charge for which he was first arrested. This would also mean that he avoids being listed on the sex offenders register when he is released in 2040.

Miss Clough's father said the announcement that Mr Vass could now face rape charges was a big step forward.

According to the BBC, Mr Clough said: "We are hopeful the charges against Jonathan Vass are resurrected. To this day Jane has not had justice for those charges she brought."

He continued: "Should a conviction follow, if he was released from prison he would have to sign the sex offenders register; he'd be treated differently in prison and he would be managed differently as a prisoner."

The family have also successfully campaigned to change the law on challenging bail rulings. From this August the Crown Prosecution Service will be permitted to challenge the granting of bail in the High Court, something which might have prevented Mr Vass's release.

Mr Clough would like judges to be more accountable for their decisions.

As reported by the BBC, Mr Clough said: "We need people to look at how this can be achieved and potentially bring back a victims' commissioner."

Source:

Killer of nurse Jane Clough should face rape charge: Father (BBC)