Family of murdered mother campaign to strip killers of parental rights

Family of mother-of-four, 27, who was stabbed and strangled to death by her ex husband while their children slept in next room launch campaign to strip killers of their parental rights

  • Family calls for killer parents to have legal responsibility over children removed
  • Mother of Jade Marsh, also known as Jade Ward, calls for law in daughter’s name
  • Ms Ward, 27, was stabbed and strangled by estranged husband Russell Marsh
  • The convicted murderer still holds his parental responsibility over their four boys

A Flintshire family are looking to restrict how involved killer parents can be in the upbringing of their children, after their daughter was murdered by her estranged husband. 

The family of Jade Marsh – also known as Jade Ward – are campaigning to create a law in her name, after she was murdered by Russell Marsh in August last year.

The 29-year-old was handed a life sentence for the brutal attack that saw Ms Ward, 27, die at his hands.

He will serve at least 15 years in prison after he stabbed, slashed and strangled the Shotton mother yards away from their sleeping children.

Despite being locked up for killing their mother, Marsh still holds his parental responsibility over their four boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Ms Ward’s family are petitioning for ‘Jade’s Law’, to ensure that no other families going through similar circumstances have to face the killer when making decisions about the children’s lives.  

Jade Ward, 27, had ended her relationship with her ‘controlling’ husband the week before he murdered her

Russell Marsh, 29, still holds his parental responsibility over their four boys because imprisonment does not automatically restrict parental responsibility

In the UK, imprisonment does not automatically restrict parental responsibility. This can only happen following a voluntary agreement or if the other parent takes the incarcerated parent to court. 

This means Marsh still has control over various aspects of their welfare such as their future medical needs or if they are ever taken out of the country.

If the family wanted to take any of the four boys on holiday somewhere outside the UK, Marsh would have to give his permission. 

This would be done through a family court hearing.

Ms Ward’s family want to make sure that nobody else needs to endure the added pain of being faced with the killer time and time again.

Family friend Edwin Duggan – a law graduate – told North Wales Live that he was approached by Ms Ward’s mother Karen Robinson for help with the campaign. 

He has since launched a petition calling for the automatic suspension of parental responsibility of any parent found guilty of murdering the other parent.

He said: ‘I’ve known Karen since she was a teenager – through being friends with her brother about 40 years ago – and I’ve therefore known Jade since she was young. What happened to the family was utterly tragic.

Floral tributes, balloons, photographs, written messages, candles and teddies were left on the pavement yards from the home where Jade Ward, 27, was found dead last August

‘At the moment, as the law stands, Marsh still has parental responsibility. 

‘Although that is limited during his time in custody, the family are now faced with having to seek his permission for anything that relates to their welfare during the time they are in the care of anyone other than their parents.

‘We all want this change in the law to create some sort of measure for future children that find themselves involved in tragic circumstances such as these and their surviving family from having to go back through further court processes.’

Mr Duggin said that a petition was set up once before in the wake of Ms Ward’s death. 

However, due to the ongoing legal proceedings at the time, it proved difficult to share and generate awareness without impacting on Marsh’s then upcoming trial.

So far, the petition has been signed by more then 1,700 people from across the UK. There is a target of gathering at least 10,000 signatures by October for the UK Government to respond. 

The scene outside the Chevrons Road home where Jade Ward was found dead with multiple stab wounds

So far, the petition has been signed by more then 1,700 people from across the UK. Pictured, police officers at the scene last August

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