Lancashire

Rosie Darbyshire: MP calls for Clare's Law review after Preston murder

Rosie Darbyshire Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Rosie Darbyshire was murdered by her boyfriend in February

An MP has called on the government to toughen up a law which allows people to find out if their partner has a violent criminal history.

Labour MP Graham Jones has written to Home Secretary Priti Patel in light of the murder of Rosie Darbyshire from Preston, Lancashire.

The 27-year-old was beaten to death by her boyfriend in February.

Mr Jones, MP for Hyndburn, said police need to respond more quickly to requests for information.

He said: "I think under the circumstances of Rosie Darbyshire's murder, I think it is a very fair point. A review is the very least we can do."

Ms Darbyshire was found badly beaten on a pavement with injuries from at least 50 separate blows. She also had injuries to her arms and hands from trying to defend herself.

Benjamin Topping, 25, was jailed for life for her murder in in May.

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme - known as Clare's Law - is intended to provide information that could protect someone from being a victim of such an attack.

Image copyright Greater Manchester Police
Image caption Clare Wood did not know her ex-boyfriend had a long history of violence against women

It is named after 36-year-old Clare Wood, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in Salford, Greater Manchester in 2009, and was introduced in 2014.

Under the law, police forces have 35 days to respond to requests, but Ms Derbyshire did not receive the information she had asked for before her death.

Mr Jones, who has raised a parliamentary question to the home secretary, believes the current timeframe should be shorter.

A petition calling for faster disclosures following Ms Darbyshire's death has also received 10,000 signatures.

The MP said: "Rosie Darbyshire did put in, under Clare's Law, a right-to-know request, which can take up to 35 days.

"And on the 11th day she was murdered. The police had not responded, and therefore that delay allowed the perpetrator the opportunity to commit that ghastly act."

He said he was hoping the government would review the law and would work with Preston MP Sir Mark Hendrick to raise the issue.

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