The law will be named after Jade Ward, whose estranged husband stabbed and strangled her to death whilst their four children were asleep in 2021. Jade’s partner, Russell Marsh, was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in prison, but he retains parental responsibility for his children whilst behind bars and can still make decisions about issues such as his children’s schooling, welfare and holidays.
Jade’s parents have campaigned tirelessly since she was killed for these rights to be taken away from murderous parents.
The new law will mean that the best interests of the child will still always be at the forefront of any decision and cases will be reviewed quickly by a judge. It will apply to anyone convicted of murder or voluntary manslaughter, with an automatic exemption for victims of domestic abuse where they kill their abuser.
Bradie Pell, partner and head of Graysons’ family team says:
“The thought of someone being able to manage their children’s lives from behind bars when they have killed the other parent is alarming. I’m sure the new law will be well received. It will also mean that families of the deceased will not have to continue the distressing process of applying to the Family Court to restrict the killer’s parental responsibility.”
Author: Bradie Pell, partner and head of Graysons’ family team.