Sickened at thought of prisoners getting vote

RELATIVES of Suffolk murder victims are “sickened” by plans to allow serving prisoners the right to vote.

Sheena Walker, 40, sister of fitness enthusiast Dawn Walker, whose body was found beside the River Lark in Fornham Park, near Bury St Edmunds, in February, 2005, said she was horrified by a recent European ruling, which said prisoners should be allowed to vote.

“I’m appalled,” she said. “It is horrendous. They have to be punished, not be a part of society. My sister died. She has no human rights.”

MPs are set to debate the UK’s response to the controversial ruling this week.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in favour of the case of prisoner John Hirst in 2004, who claimed a ban on his right to vote had breached his right to take part in the democratic process.


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In November, 2010, the Council of Europe gave the UK six months to implement the Strasbourg courts judgments. Denise Askew, 51, great aunt of baby Luigi Askew, who was killed by his father, Duncan Millsm at his home in Ipswich in 2007, urged voters to fight the European ruling.

“This is disgusting,” she said. “I am sickened. It is an abuse of the system.

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“Perpetrators’ rights are being placed above people whose lives have been affected by their crimes.

“I have seen the aftermath of murder and its affect on my family and other people. I am ashamed we have got to this point.”

Ms Askew said she had written to both Jack Straw and David Davis who have tabled a debate on the motion for this week.

She appealed for constituents to write to their MPs to voice their feelings on the sensitive debate.

“Where was Luigi’s right to life?” she said. “Where was Dawn’s right to life? Once that life is finished, they seem to be totally forgotten.

“The only people who can speak for them are their family and friends who can represent them.”

jo.thewlis@eadt.co.uk

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