[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 July, 2003, 08:07 GMT 09:07 UK
Mother's justice plea to Lords
Ann Ming
Ann Ming wants a change to the double jeopardy rule
A Teesside mother's fight for justice for her murdered daughter is being taken to the House of Lords.

Anne Ming's daughter Julie Hogg went missing from her Billingham home in 1989.

The 22-year-old's body was eventually found behind a bath panel.

Local man Billy Dunlop was charged with her murder, but acquitted after a trial.

Nine years later he confessed to the crime and was jailed for perjury.

But he was not jailed for her murder because as the law of double jeopardy stands, Dunlop could not be tried twice for the killing.

Now Mrs Ming, who has been campaigning for a change in the Double Jeopardy law, is meeting Attorney General Lord Goldsmith and other members of the House of Lords to argue her case.

The House of Lords is currently considering the Criminal Justice Bill, which includes proposals on changing the double jeopardy rule.

Mrs Ming said: "The way the law stands at the moment it is acceptable in this country for somebody to be acquitted of a murder and then to confess in a court of law and then only be charged with perjury.

"It is a very important meeting and I hope I can persuade the Lords that Julie deserves justice.

Julie Hogg
Julie Hogg was murdered in 1989

"We feel we have been very let down by the criminal justice system.

"We live and breathe our daughter's murder all the time. We are looking for some closure."

Plans to scrap the double jeopardy rule have been proposed by Home Secretary, David Blunkett, who says he wants to put victims and their families at the centre of the criminal justice system.

Critics of Mr Blunkett's proposed reforms, say they will do little to satisfy victims.

A spokesman for the human rights group Liberty, said: "We're concerned that the government is effectively talking about one problem but tackling another.

"If you look at the things that really concern the public, it's problems of resources, quality of police investigations, the ability to detect crime."

He said changes to double jeopardy would lead to substandard investigations, because the police will always know that they can have a second chance.

This, in turn, would lead to more anguish for victims, families and witnesses.




SEE ALSO:
Fears over justice reforms
21 Jun 01  |  UK News
End to 'double jeopardy' planned
20 Jun 01  |  Politics


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific