An A&E staff nurse murdered nine years ago continues to help people today, her father has said.
John Clough, 58, of Barrowford in Lancashire, was appointed MBE for his campaign to change a bail law following Jane Clough’s death in 2010. He was named in the 2019 New Year’s Honours list for his services to the victims of domestic abuse.
“There are days I really wish I was back nine years ago with a complete family,” said John, a control centre technician for Network Rail in Preston. “But Jane is still very much in our thoughts today and every day. Her legacy is at work. She was an A&E staff nurse. She helped people every day. And she is still doing that, as far as I’m concerned, for other victims of domestic abuse.”
Jane, 26, a nurse at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, was stabbed 71 times by her ex-partner, Jonathan Vass, who was on bail having been charged with raping her.
John and his wife Penny, made MBE six years ago, campaigned for the Crown Prosecution Service to be able to appeal against the bailing of defendants.
In 2012 a change was made to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill. It became known as ‘Jane’s Law.' This may have saved Jane’s life.
“Over the past eight years we have spent so much time in the public eye because of what we saw as the failings of the system, which led to Jane’s death. We just could not stand back and not do anything,” John said.
“Before what happened to Jane we were blissfully ignorant of the lack of support for victims offered by the criminal justice system. The more we looked into it, the more we saw wrong with the system. All our work now – Jane's legacy – is focused on giving support for victims.”
In addition to the bail law change, John and his wife Penny have also brought public pressure on local authorities to keep funding a number of women’s refuges, in Lancashire, which were at risk of closure. John has also been instrumental in shaping a new domestic abuse policy at Network Rail.
John and Penny are also pressing Government to set up a stalkers’ register, which he hopes will be included in a new domestic abuse bill. “There is a sex offenders’ register. Why not a stalkers’ register?” he said.
John added: “I want to thank my managers at Network Rail in Preston for their support over the past eight years. Without their support it would have been so much harder to achieve this”