Nurse murdered by ex-boyfriend 'failed twice by justice system'
John and Penny Clough were angry that their daughter's killer was released pending the rape trial and the matter was allowed to lie on file yesterday as he pleaded guilty to her murder.
Jonathan Vass, 30, knifed Jane Clough, 26, in a frenzied attack as she returned to her car following a shift at Blackpool Victoria Hospital in July this year.
She was taken to the accident and emergency unit where she worked just 100 yards away as her colleagues battled in vain to save her.
Vass was facing allegations at the time of the killing that he had raped her on several occasions. He was released on conditional bail pending a trial due to be held this month.
Preston Crown Court heard Vass, of Preston, Lancashire, murdered Miss Clough with the intention of obstructing the course of justice in the rape hearing.
The Crown Prosecution Service said it was content for the rape allegations to lie on file – to the disagreement of Mr and Mrs Clough, from Barrowford, Lancashire.
Judge Anthony Russell QC then commented it was in the public interest to drop the matter because "in comparison with the murder, anything else pales into insignificance".
Those words sparked fury from the distraught couple who branded the judge as "disgraceful" outside court.
Mr Clough said: "We object most strongly that the original charges of rape will not be heard. We feel that the justice system has let us down twice: first allowing him bail while charged with these abhorrent crimes, and now today.
"We feel the public should know what a despicable person he is.."
Mrs Clough said: "It's disgraceful to say rape is not significant.
"I wonder if this man (the judge) is a father. Any woman who has been raped lives with that full torment every day."
The couple arrived at court wearing badges sporting a photograph of Miss Clough and the message "Justice for Jane".
Later, Mr Clough said: "We brought the wrong badges, they should have been, 'No Justice for Jane'."
The defendant had worked alongside Miss Clough before he was suspended and then eventually dismissed by ambulance chiefs.
Police were called to the hospital car park facing the A&E unit at 8.30pm on Sunday July 25.
A post-mortem examination showed the nurse died from multiple stab wounds.
Vass, who went on to work as a nightclub bouncer, was arrested the following morning in Barrowford.
It is understood Vass had left his wife to set up home with Miss Clough in Camden Street, Barrowford, before they too separated.
Miss Clough had just returned to work from maternity leave after giving birth to their daughter, Imogen.
Mr Clough added: "Jane was killed to keep her out of the witness box and he won that battle.
"Jonathan Vass was a very controlling, manipulative person. .
"He tried to change her but he was not successful."
Vass, of Conway Drive, Preston, will be sentenced on October 14.