Sir Keir Starmer said that Labour in government would “fast-track rape and serious sexual assault cases, and we will toughen sentence for rapists, stalkers and domestic abusers”.
Drawing on his experience as former director of public prosecution, he told the Labour Pary conference the story of Blackpool Victoria Hospital nurse Jane Clough, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend while he was out on bail.
Sir Keir said: “Jane lived in constant fear that he would return to harm her, she tried to ensure she never travelled to work alone.
“The one morning that Jane arrived at work unaccompanied, he was waiting for her in the hospital car park where he stabbed her 71 times.”
He added that he had promised Jane’s parents Penny and John that he “would work with them to make sure that no other family went through what they had been forced to endure, and we rolled up our sleeves and we changed the law”.
“Labour will strengthen legal protections for victims of crime, we will not walk around the problem, we will fix it.”
Mrs Clough had tears in her eyes as she and her husband stood to applause from Labour members.
John and Penny Clough with their daughter, Jane, centre, before her death at the hands of her abusive ex (Picture: Family hand-out/JPIMedia archive)
Mr and Mrs Clough, who set up Justice For Jane after her murder at the hands of her abusive ex Jonathan Vass in 2010, stepped back from campaigning two years ago.
The couple, who hail from the Pendle area of east Lancashire, worked tirelessly to fight for changes in the bail act to protect victims from abusers awaiting trial and helped found the safe haven Jane’s Place, featuring 15 apartments, in Burnley.