It was then that the personal face of tweets and the human world of Twitter hit me. I had been involved with a campaign over the death of a young woman without realising it. Jane Clough was murdered on 25 July 2010 by her ex partner. Jane was a nurse at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. She had parked her car in the car park and was about to start a shift at the hospital. Jonathan Vass, a man who had repeatedly raped (9 times)and assaulted her (4 times), stabbed her and slit her throat. Vass showed no mercy nor did he have any consideration of the fact that the baby they had had together would be left motherless. Vass was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder.
However, Jane's family and friends do not think that justice has fully been served and have launched a campaign to right the wrongs done to her twice by the justice system.
Firstly, when the decision was taken by the Crown Prosecution Service to bring charges against Vass (Jane was still alive then) for the rapes and assaults, advice was given to the judge by both the prosecution lawyers and the police that there was a real likelihood that Vass would cause harm to Jane to try and stop her from testifying against him. The judge disregarded their concerns and granted Vass bail. The police and Crown Prosecution Service were right. He killed Jane some months later.
Secondly, when the murder trial came to court a second judge decided not to pursue the rape and assault charges because 'it wasn't in the public interest' to do so. The judge referred to the rape charges as being 'insignificant'. Thus, Vass was tried for murder but not the crimes that he had committed previously though it was these crimes that had led to her murder. Jane was using the law to protect herself by reporting the crimes but, somehow, it had cost her her life.
The blogger Guido Fawkes is calling for the introduction of the death penalty (specifically for those who kill children and policemen/women) but, without wanting to debate capital punishment here, it does make one wonder how effectively our justice system is being utilised in the first place to protect victims and deter criminals.
Justice for Jane Please sign the petition on the site.