New Guidance On Rape Charges Won By Victims Family

The family of a nurse killed by her former partner while he was on bail for raping her has won a campaign to change legal guidance, meaning murderers who commit rape can be charged for both.

Previous legal guidance has meant offenders who murdered a victim while on bail for rape would be prosecuted for only the murder, because the resulting sentence would be expected to be sufficiently high to cover both offences.

Today, Keir Starmer QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions has announced new guidance, meaning they should now be charged with rape as well.

The change is a victory for a campaign led by John and Penny Clough, whose daughter Jane, 26, was stabbed 71 times by her ex-partner Jonathan Vass in July 2010 while he was awaiting trial for repeatedly raping her.

Vass was jailed for life in October 2010 after admitting the murder, but the rape charges were left on file.

In future cases, rape charges that are linked to murders will no longer be left on file but will be prosecuted except in the most "exceptional circumstances", Keir Starmer has said.


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