Family of murder victim Paul Pearson call for law change
A FAMILY which has campaigned to keep their son and brother’s evil killer behind bars are fighting for a change in the law - named after the little boy who was snatched cruelly from them.
Paul’s Law - named after tragic Marske murder victim Paul Pearson - would ensure criminals are charged with ALL the offences they have committed and NOT just those which carry the highest sentence or are deemed the most serious, as often happens today.
Paul’s big sister Claire, now 25, explained the inspiration for Paul’s Law came as her brother’s evil killer Richard Blenkey, was NEVER CHARGED with the serious sexual assault he committed against seven-year-old Paul, despite the fact the harrowing details of it, - and evil Blenkey’s “morbid interest” in young boys - were heard during Blenkey’s trial for Paul’s murder.
Previously, the family has campaigned for a change in the law to ensure people like Blenkey - who committed sex offences before the introduction of the Sex Offenders Register in 1997 and has now served almost 20 years in prison making him eligible to apply for parole every six months - would have to sign it upon their eventual release.
However, following advice from Sara Payne, the mum of eight-year-old murder victim Sarah Payne, who was killed by paedophile Roy Whiting in 2000, the family has accepted it is “fighting a losing battle” in their bid to change this law, as, in cases like theirs, unless a person has actually been tried for the sex offence as well as the others they have committed, there is no hope of having them added to the sex offenders register.
Claire, from Redcar said: “As a family we are appalled at the idea that Richard Blenkey could ever be released after what he did to Paul.
“We are campaigning to get justice for Paul by having his murderer convicted for all of the terrible crimes he committed upon Paul.
“Paul’s Law is a campaign where in child murder cases, where there is any evidence of a sexual assault the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) should always convict the offender for all of the crimes committed.
“With all offences acknowledged the victims get all of the justice they deserve and if they do get out in society again, they would be recognised for everything they have done rather than what they have just been let off with.”
The family’s hope is that in the horrible event they ever see Blenkey and other paedophiles released from prison, their threat to society can at least be managed, because if they were charged with all their crimes, they would be forced to sign the sex offenders register, even if their crimes predate 1997 when the register was enforced.
Paul’s Mum Julie Tilley, 50, wants Paul’s Law introduced as soon as possible, in the hope no other mother will have to endure the devastation and suffering of losing a child in such a horrific way she did.
Julie was just 31 when she had to face every parent’s worst nightmare on August 14 1991.
The family had only recently moved to Marske - a place Julie and her then husband Ken, 50, thought would be safe to grow up - when, during the summer holidays, Paul left a friend’s home
at teatime to cycle home along the allotment track.
A massive search started when little Paul failed to return home. The following day, his body was discovered murdered and dumped in an overgrown Saltburn ravine.
The search had revealed the boy’s underpants in Blenkey’s chicken hut at Hazel Grove allotments in Saltburn and Paul’s bike was also found with Blenkey’s palm print on it - leading to him being dubbed “the BMX killer”.
Blenkey, now 53, had cold-bloodedly strangled Paul with wire before dumping his lifeless body.
Julie, who, remarkably, feels closest to Paul when she visits the spot where his life was brutally snatched away, said: “No mother would like to think this could happen to their child. But we are in a position to make a bit of a change because it has happened to us and we want to do it to benefit everyone.”
The family’s campaign has already had backing from celebrities including comedian Frankie Boyle, Pineapple Dance Studios star Louie Spence and magician Paul Daniels, who have all left messages of support on the website www.paulpearson.org.uk.
Now, the family are also joining forces with campaigner Sara Payne, who has already brought in a series of changes to protect families, through measures such as the introduction of Multi Agency Protection Panels (MAPPs) involving police, probation officers and a member of the public to monitor offenders.
Through “Sarah’s Law” Sara Payne is also hoping for controlled access to be granted to the public regarding the whereabouts of paedophiles in their area.
Julie is hoping that introducing Paul’s Law alongside Sarah’s Law could prove effective, by helping to monitor those paedophiles who are released from custody.
The Pearson family is now actively raising funds for Sara’s new charity The Phoenix Foundation and did the Boxing Day dip in Redcar with colleagues of Claire’s at Laurence Jackson School and other supportive family friends.
Julie said: “I was on the beach shouting ‘Justice For Paul, keep all our children safe’ with my collection bucket and people didn’t even hesitate to donate.
“We now need to focus on Paul’s Law. If Blenkey had been charged for everything in the first place, then we wouldn’t have to go through this.”
The Pearsons are planning other fundraising events for The Phoenix Foundation and thanked local band Soviet Disco, Newmarket Football Club and O’Grady’s pub for their support so far.
Julie said: “It’s so rewarding to see that we can make a change and it IS possible. Even though it may take a long time, it would be a wonderful law to bring in - in the memory of Paul and other children - to keep all our children safe in the future.”
In a joint statement from the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice, a Government spokesperson said offenders convicted of specified sexual offences prior to September 1 1997 were added to the register if they were in prison or subject to a supervision or community order on that date.
But Blenkey was never charged with a sexual offence - something Paul’s Law sets out to change.
The spokesperson added: “All life sentence prisoners are subject to probation supervision on release from prison. They will have to adhere to a set of strict conditions and are subject to recall to custody, potentially for the rest of their lives, if their behaviour indicates that it is no longer safe to allow them to remain in the community.”
You can join the family’s campaign at www.paulpearson.org.uk
For more information on the work of The Phoenix Foundation, visit the website at www.thephoenixfoundation.co.uk