On Sunday 25th July 2010, Jane Clough was savagely murdered in the grounds of Blackpool Victoria Hospital as she arrived to start her night shift as an A & E nurse.
Her killer, Jonathon Vass, was her former partner and the father of her baby (name withheld due to ongoing court proceedings). Jane had recently returned to work after her maternity leave finished.
Vass, a body builder, heavily into steroid abuse had appeared in court on 1st December 2009 charged with 3 counts of rape against Jane. Jane had been strong enough to report the cases to the police and the CPS had met the required thresholds for prosecution of the rapes. He was further charged nine days later with 6 counts of rape, 3 assaults and 1 sexual assault. Despite objections by the Police and Crown Prosecution Service, and having been told that ‘he was extremely likely to interfere with the witness’ he was released on bail by Judge Simon Newell.
He was suspended from his job as an ambulance technician and then dismissed in May 2010.
Throughout the period, Jane was in hiding with her young daughter at her parents’ home as she was convinced that Vass intended to harm her. Despite her, and her family and police concerns, Vass was not re-arrested.
Jane had been awarded a residence order and sole custody of her child until she was 16.
Jane had only been back at work for about 6 weeks after her maternity leave ended when Vass brutally attacked her as she arrived to start her night shift inflicting muliple stab wounds before cutting her throat.
Since her murder, Jane’s family, supporters and friends have campaigned actively for a change to the law that allows such an event to occur.
The family’s MP, Andrew Stepehnson was granted 10 minutes on 28th June to recommend an amendment to the Bail Bill that allows for such an appeal to take place where there is the strong belief that the judge has “got it wrong”
This Bill will get its second reading in Parliament on 20th January 2012.