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Father of murdered nurse Jane Clough ‘very proud’ with MBE

John Clough and his wife Penny, who was honoured in 2013, have been prominent campaigners since her death in 2010.

Nurse Jane Clough was murdered in the car park at Blackpool Victoria Hospital by her ex-boyfriend (PA/Lancashire Police)
Nurse Jane Clough was murdered in the car park at Blackpool Victoria Hospital by her ex-boyfriend (PA/Lancashire Police)

The father of a nurse brutally murdered by her ex-boyfriend has said he is “very proud” to be made an MBE for services to victims of domestic abuse.

John Clough and wife Penny, who was made an MBE in the 2013 New Year Honours List, have thrown themselves into campaigning since the death of their daughter Jane in July 2010.

The 26-year-old was knifed in the staff car park at Blackpool Victoria Hospital as she arrived for her shift.

Miss Clough’s killer, Jonathan Vass, was on bail on charges of raping her and she had kept a diary that detailed his abuse and her fears he would take revenge.

Mr Clough, of Barrowford, Lancashire, is an ambassador for the National Stalking Advocacy Service, which is calling for a national register of serial stalkers and domestic abusers.

More than 164,000 people have signed a petition to urge the Government to manage and monitor stalkers in the same way sex offenders are tracked.

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John and Penny Clough, the parents of murdered nurse Jane Clough (Martin Rickett/PA)

Speaking of the award, he said: “I’m very proud. It does mean a lot. My wife received a MBE in 2013 and it’s all related to the work we have done together in speaking out for victims of domestic abuse.

“It’s great to have the recognition. It reinforces to us that the work we are doing is of value, it means a lot.”

Mr Clough explained the stalkers register campaign had received a lot of support, including from the Home Affairs Select Committee, but he felt it just needs “that rubber stamp on the end”.

He said: “It’s all too often in anything relating to a victim that it is the victim who has to go into hiding and the victim who has to up sticks and lose contact with their friends and family for their own self-protection.

“So it’s high time that the offenders were tasked with changing their own behaviours.”

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Penny Clough receives her MBE medal from the Prince of Wales during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace (PA)

The Cloughs also campaign for more refuge funding and are patrons of domestic abuse help service SafeNet, which last year opened Jane’s Place, a refuge for those with complex needs such as mental health issues and drug or alcohol misuse.

Mr Clough said: “It was very rewarding to know they wanted to name it in honour of Jane.

“The work we do in Jane’s name is just an ongoing legacy of the person she was.

“Jane’s Place was full within three weeks of it opening and there are referrals to it nationally.

“The people they have to turn away is heartbreaking because there aren’t just enough facilities in the country that deal with the needs of people who need a refuge place.”

He added: “What we have tried to do is make a difference to other victims, the other Janes out there.

“But it’s not just women who are affected. Men and children are affected in the same way.

“They all need support, they need the resources, they need the places to go for their own safety.

“It’s very infuriating to see the lack of advancement in getting refuge funding to the level it needs to be. Refuges save lives.

“In the main they tend to rely on charitable donations … it always seems to be that victims’ services are the easiest thing to run down.

“The Government do not, in spite of what they might say, give enough funding to victim services.”

In October 2010, ambulance technician and club bouncer Vass was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 30 years.

PA

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