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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 November, 2003, 10:19 GMT
Mother's hope over law change
Julie Hogg
Julie Hogg was murdered in 1989
A mother who has campaigned for 14 years to convict her daughter's killer is hoping a law change will lead to a new trial.

Julie Hogg, 22, from Billingham, Teesside, went missing in 1989 and her body was eventually found behind her bath panel by her mother Ann Ming.

Her boyfriend, Billy Dunlop, was charged with her murder but juries at two trials failed to reach a verdict and he was acquitted.

He later admitted killing Miss Hogg but the double jeopardy rule prevented him from being tried again for murder and instead, was jailed after pleading guilty to perjury.

The change in the double jeopardy ruling has been included in the new Criminal Justice act which received Royal Assent on Friday.

Ann Ming
Ann Ming hopes a change in the rule will help her daughter's case

Mrs Ming said she hoped the law would be implemented retrospectively.

But with the change in double jeopardy, Dunlop's confession would have to be regarded as new evidence by the Crown Prosecution Service before a further trial could take place.

Mrs Ming said: "The end is hopefully in sight... we haven't got everything [we want] because he has not been charged yet with Julie's murder, which is what we want.

"We want him sentenced for the crime he has confessed to which is the killing of our daughter. Perjury was a poor substitute.

"When Dunlop confessed in court to the perjury, his defence barrister said he had made British legal history, nobody had confessed in a court of law after being acquitted.

For a man to be acquitted and then to be boasting that he had in fact killed your daughter is a nightmare
Ann Ming
"At that point I realised there was no test case, no guideline, so that is what I took to the Home Secretary - use this case to set a precedent and change the law retrospectively."

Mrs Ming said it had been a difficult 14 years for herself and her family.

She said: "Anyone who has had a child murdered would understand that all you feel you can do is obtain justice for your child.

"For a man to be acquitted and then to be boasting that he had in fact killed your daughter is a nightmare and we have had to live with that because of an 800-year-old law."

A spokesman for Cleveland Police said they would be looking at any cases where new evidence had come to light, to see whether the new law could be applied.




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


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