Death penalty advocate takes up victims’ cause

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Baroness Newlove, whose husband Garry was killed by a gang vandalising his car, has been appointed as the new Victims’ Commissioner.

Lady Newlove has campaigned for victims of crime since her husband was kicked to death by thugs outside their Warrington home in 2007.

In the three-year role, unveiled by Victims’ Minister Helen Grant, she will – among other duties – advise the Government on victims’ views on existing good practice in the criminal justice system and areas for future work.

She said: “I know, as a victim of crime, how it feels to be alone, having to reach out for support at the most traumatic of times and facing a criminal justice system both daunting and difficult to understand.

“Sadly, I am not alone in feeling like this, and have been contacted by victims of crime throughout the country who feel the same.”

Mr Newlove, a salesman with a plastics company, left his home on August 10, 2007 to remonstrate with the group of drunk teenagers who had damaged his wife’s car.

He was kicked “like a football” in front of his terrified wife and three daughters. He suffered massive head injuries and died two days later in hospital.

The three killers were sentenced to life imprisonment. The trial judge recommended that the teenagers should serve minimum terms of 17, 15 and 12 years respectively.

In the wake of their convictions, Baroness Newlove called for the death penalty to be re-instated.

Baroness Newlove, who will succeed Louise Casey, went on to campaign against anti-social behaviour, underage and binge drinking.

“As Victims’ Commissioner I will support changes in the criminal justice system that meet the needs of the victim and their families,” she said