MP condemns ‘inhuman’ court system on behalf of murdered nurse’s family

Jane Clough

Jane Clough

A murderer who killed his former partner tried to use the family courts to gain access to the couple’s daughter, an MP has said.

Peter Kyle called the courts system “inhuman” as he told fellow MPs about his relationship with the Clough family, whose daughter Jane was killed by her former partner, Jonathan Vass, in 2010.

Vass stabbed the nurse to death in a knife attack as she arrived for work at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Vass was arrested the next day outside his victim’s parents’ house.

Hove MP Mr Kyle told the Commons that Vass was on his way to either murder his baby child, Jane’s parents, or both.

But from behind bars, Vass started demanding parental rights over his child.

“The child he would have, by all likelihood, murdered himself if only he had had the opportunity,” said Labour MP Mr Kyle.

Jane’s sister then started adoption proceedings to break the link with Vass, Mr Kyle said.

He continued: “From that moment onwards, the family experienced a legal system that was stacked in his favour rather than the baby he had tried to kill.

“Without access to financial support or legal aid, the family had to find separate representation for the baby, and the rest of the family.

“He had a legal firm, not donated pro bono representation. They would have had to sell their house to cover the costs.”

Vass represented himself at the hearing, Mr Kyle said, adding: “The man who brutally murdered their sister, their daughter, would be cross-examining them.

“Jane’s sister told me that she simply cannot find the words to do justice to the brutalising effect this had as the court date approached.

“On the day of the hearing, they were informed he would be appearing by video link. But they were stunned to discover that this was for concerns over his safety, and had nothing to do with the wellbeing of them.

“Under cross-examination, Vass asked personal questions of the family members. He asked Jane’s sister ‘what will you tell her about me’, referring to the baby.

“To her husband, he asked ‘what makes you think you can be a dad to my daughter’?

“The trauma meted out by the family court process is simply inhuman. This family had suffered enough.”