A COUPLE campaigning to restrict the freedom of their daughter’s killer have successfully got a meeting with the leading minister – although he has warned there is little he can do.
Marie and Ken West, of Bolton-le-Sands, will sit down with recently-appointed Justice Minister Jeremy Wright in London in December after an intervention from David Morris, MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale.
The Wests are campaigning for their daughter’s killer, David Bonnell, to be banned from going into Lancashire, North Yorkshire and Cumbria, to avoid the chances of an unexpected encounter with him.
The former market trader and DJ, now in his mid-40s, was released from prison this summer after completing a 14-year prison term for bludgeoning to death his wife, the Wests’ daughter Tracey, 23, with a piece of wood at their home in Albert Road, Skerton, in November 1997.
The tragedy left behind Tracey’s two young children, Amy and Callum, who were just five and four at the time.
Mrs West, 57, a teaching assistant, said: “The minister says there is not a lot he can do but we want to go down there and hear what he has to say.
“We have nothing to lose by seeing what can be achieved.
Tracey’s family want the exclusion zone – the area where Bonnell is lawfully banned from going which includes Lancaster, Morecambe and Bolton-Le-Sands – widening because the family, and Ken’s work as a paramedic, involves travelling and working across a wide area.
In a letter to the couple, the Justice MP said: “Although I am unable to intervene directly in this particular case, I would be interested in hearing about your experiences of the criminal justice system first hand.”
The family had some happy news recently.
Amy West, 20, from Morecambe, who is the daughter of Tracey West and David Bonnell but whom the Wests adoped as their own daughter after the murder, has given birth to her first child. The baby girl, Poppy Marie, weighed 7lb 6oz and was born at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
The baby, from Amy’s relationship with partner, Ross MacFarlane, 20, is doing well despite a couple of complications for the young mum, who is now on the mend.