A family whose daughter was murdered hopes for a change in the law because her killer still has parental control of their children.
Jade Marsh, also known as Jade Ward, died at the hands of her ex-husband in a brutal attack that saw the young mother stabbed, lacerated and strangled just yards from their sleeping children. Cold-blooded murderer Russell Marsh was sentenced to life for the brutal attack.
Marsh will serve at least 15 years for the horrific crime committed in Flintshire last August. But despite being in prison, Marsh still has a way of subjecting Mrs. Ward’s family to the torturous legal process for years to come.
READ MORE: Mom with tragic past loses three family members to ‘silent killer’
Although he was locked up for killing their mother, Marsh still holds parental responsibility over the four boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons. This means he still has control over various aspects of their well-being, including their future medical needs or if they are ever taken out of the country.
This means that if the family wanted to take any of the children on holiday somewhere outside the UK, Marsh would have to give permission. This would be done through another hearing in family court.
Imprisonment does not automatically restrict parental responsibility in the UK. This can only be done by voluntary agreement or if the other parent takes the incarcerated parent to court.
Ms Ward’s family are now campaigning to make ‘Jade Law’ a reality. They want to make sure that no one who suffers a sudden and brutal loss like them needs to endure the added pain of being confronted by the killer time and time again.
Family friend Edwin Duggan – a law graduate – was approached by Ms Ward’s mother, Karen Robinson, for help in the campaign. He started a petition calling for the automatic suspension of parental responsibility for any parent found guilty of murdering the other parent.
He told North Wales Live: “I’ve known Karen since she was a teenager through being friends with her brother about 40 years ago and so I’ve known Jade since she was young. What happened to the family was utterly tragic.At the moment, as the law stands, Marsh still has parental responsibility.
“While limited while in custody, the family must now seek his permission for anything to do with their welfare while in the care of someone other than their parents. We all want this change. into law to create some sort of measure for future children who find themselves embroiled in tragic circumstances like these and their surviving family having to go through further legal proceedings.”
Mr Duggin said a petition had already been launched following Ms Ward’s death. However, due to ongoing legal proceedings at the time, it proved difficult to share and raise awareness without impacting Marsh’s upcoming trial. The petition has so far been signed by over 1,500 people from across the UK. The aim is to collect at least 10,000 signatures by October for the UK government to respond.
To support the petition, go to https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/614893