Our daughter, 27, was killed by her estranged husband but he still has custody of the kids – it's outrageous

A MURDERER who killed his estranged ex still has custody of their children, the victim's devastated parents say.

Russell Marsh killed former wife Jade Marsh, also known as Jade Ward, who had "moved on" with her life following their split.


The "beautiful" 27-year-old's mutilated body was found under a pile of clothes at her Flintshire home last August.

A pathology report found she had suffered multiple wounds “across her body” – including her face and arms – and she had grip mark bruises.

There was also evidence of "defensive” wounds sustained around the hands showing she had “made efforts to fight off” her attacker.

Barbaric Marsh, 29, was sentenced to life behind bars earlier this month after he was convicted of the horror.

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But in spite of that, he could torture Ms Ward's family for years to come as he drags them through more court hearings in a bid to see the four children he and his victim shared.

Marsh still holds parental responsibility over the little ones, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and has control over areas of their welfare.

If the family wanted to take the children on holiday outside of the UK, he'd have to give permission. He would also be consulted for any medical decisions.

Now Ms Ward's family are campaigning for 'Jade's Law', which will aim to ensure others who suffer similar losses won't face the same ordeal.

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Family friend Edwin Duggan told North Wales Live he was approached by Ms Ward's mum Karen Robinson for help, and has since launched a petition.

The law graduate 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.

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

FAMILY'S DEVASTATION

"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."

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The family hope at least 10,000 people will sign the petition. The number would push it over the threshold for the Government to respond.

For more information, visit petition.parliament.uk/petitions/614893

You don’t have to struggle alone

Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:

  • Always keep your phone nearby.
  • Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
  • If you are in danger, call 999.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
  • Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
  • If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
  • Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.

If you are a ­victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support ­service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – messageinfo@supportline.org.uk.

Women’s Aid provides a live chat service available. from 10am to noon.

You can also call the freephone 24-hour ­National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.


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