Posted: Thu 5th May 2022

Jade Ward – Petition calling for a parental responsibility law change passes crucial 100,000 signature mark

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, May 5th, 2022

A petition calling for a change in the law regarding parental responsibility following the murder of a Shotton mum has passed the crucial 100,000 signatures mark. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The family of Jade Ward are campaigning to create a law in her name, after she was murdered by Russell Marsh in August last year. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Marsh from Shotton, killed his ex-wife Jade, 27, at a property on Chevrons Road on 26 August 2021 while their four children we asleep. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

A mother of four, Ms Ward was found dead by officers in a bedroom after suffering a violent attack by Marsh, who had handed himself in at Blacon police station. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

During the trial, a pathology report found that Jade had suffered multiple wounds across her body, including her face and arms, and bruising that was consistent with “making efforts to fight off” her attacker. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Marsh denied the charge of murder but admitted manslaughter when he gave evidence. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Despite his conviction, Marsh still holds parental responsibility for the children and has control over areas of their welfare. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

In the UK, imprisonment does not automatically restrict parental responsibility (PR). This can only happen following a voluntary agreement or if the other parent takes the incarcerated parent to court. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Ms Ward’s family are petitioning for ‘Jade’s Law’, to ensure that no other families going through similar circumstances have to face the killer when making decisions about the children’s lives. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The petition calling for the automatic suspension of PR rights of a parent guilty of murdering the other parent was launched last month. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The petition seeks to, “Provide a mechanism within existing legislation whereupon a person with parental responsibility (PR) is found guilty of murdering the other parent with PR, has PR automatically suspended throughout the duration of the term of imprisonment of the aforesaid person convicted.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“It is acknowledged that there is scope to restrict parental responsibility from a parent through existing legislation, however, this can often be time consuming and for some expensive.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The automatic removal of PR will save those, who now care for the surviving children, the added burden of attending numerous court cases to restrict the person holding PR, who would often use these cases as an opportunity to aggravate the process and in so doing cause further distress to the family.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

As of Thursday morning, over 103,000 people had signed the petition. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

At 100,000 signatures, the petition will be considered for debate in Parliament. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

You can view and sign the petition here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/614893?fbclid=IwAR2tgs335QeyErgRGlL-S-WRbcRA5wF0LNy9fuDAkt6bfSPBRYNHB9e-2lk ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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