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Appeal ‘must be allowed’ for bail

Appeal ‘must be allowed’ for bail

Allowing people the right to appeal against a judge granting a defendant bail would be a good thing, according to Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer. The QC made the comments after meeting the parents of murdered nurse Jane Clough, stabbed to death by a man who was on bail for allegedly raping her. Ms Clough, a 26-year-old mother when she died, was murdered in the car park of Blackpool Victoria Hospital, her workplace, by her former partner Jonathan Vass. Vass was imprisoned for 30 years in October last year for murdering her, although his alleged rape of the woman has not been prosecuted. Ms Clough’s parents Penny and John launched their Justice For Jane campaign following Vass’s imprisonment. They want the law changed to allow prosecutors to appeal against any decision to grant bail.

Mr Starmer said in a statement:

“I met with Mr and Mrs Clough on Thursday and we discussed a number of issues. One of which is the current government proposal to provide the prosecution with the opportunity to appeal against the decision of a Crown Court judge to grant bail. I understand that there are a number of details to be worked out and it has not, for example, been decided who should hear such an appeal. From my perspective however, having given the matter careful consideration, I have come to the view that we would welcome the introduction of such a power for the prosecution. We would not anticipate such a right of appeal being used very often; however, where it was felt that a judge had got a decision on bail wrong, and the interests of victims and the wider public demanded that such a decision be challenged, then this would be regarded as a useful and appropriate option for the prosecution to have available to it.”

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