Robert Walter Blog - 31 October 2013

In the last few weeks I've been busy across the constituency and in Parliament visiting growing Shaftesbury-based business, the Wessex Group.

I've been giving evidence to Parliament's Joint Committee on Prisoner Voting in my capacity as Leader of the UK Delegation to the Council of Europe; meeting Dorset's new Police and Crime Commissioner; and continuing to work on behalf of my constituents. 

Last month kicked off with an award from one such constituent, Cathy Franklin, whose campaigning to improve justice for victims of violent crime I've backed since the murder of her young son Ryan back in 2002. As a spokeswoman for charity Mothers Against Murder And Aggression (MAMAA), I was honoured to receive her nomination for an MAMAA award for our work to reform sentencing policy and the Coroners Bill.

This year I'm backing another petition to help victims in the form of Cathy’s campaign for a single post-mortem. At present, when arrested and charged with causing a death the accused, or multiple accused, can each request a second post-mortem. Two-year-old Ryan's body was kept in a mortuary for 18 months as a result of just such a request from defence lawyers, denying him a dignified burial until the trial and conviction of his killer.

So Cathy and I will be petitioning the Ministry of Justice to legislate for a single independent post-mortem that all parties must work from, thus reducing such agonising delays and the further suffering of bereaved families. I hope you'll join us.

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