The family of murdered woman from Exeter, Lorraine Cox, have supported a campaign calling for new laws to punish killers who desecrate bodies.
“Stop desecration” proposes that two new criminal offenses be introduced to recognize the agony felt by the families of victims whose bodies are hidden or abused after death.
Lorraine was killed by Azam Mangori in her apartment above a kebab in Exeter. After his murder, he dismembered his body and threw the remains in garbage bags and firewood.
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Her father, Tony, and brother, Mark, have supported calls for reform of the country’s funeral laws.
They are led by Marie McCourt, whose successful Helen’s Law campaign has resulted in killers being denied parole if they do not reveal the location of their victims’ bodies.
Tony and Mark said in a statement, “Lorraine, our dearly missed daughter and sister, was the most kind, generous and loving person, the heart of our little family.
“She was taken from us in the most brutal circumstances leaving us, and so many others who loved her, devastated.
“His killer admitted to preventing a legal burial, but what he did was much, much worse. There is no law or charge in our collection of laws that can reflect the true horror of his actions. This is why our burial laws need urgent reform.
“Only by dealing with these horrible crimes can we put an end to them. We know Lorraine would have wanted us to fight so that these spineless cowards were fully punished and served in real time for their heinous crimes.
“And that’s what we, as a family, are going to do. ‘Dad and brother. Still love.’
The proposed laws would apply to cases such as that of Lorraine and that of Sarah Everard, 33, who was murdered by the Wayne Couzens Police Office.
Current common law offenses, such as “preventing a lawful burial” are rarely used by prosecutors.
The activists want the introduction of two new criminal offenses – “the desecration of a corpse” and “the concealment of a body”.
Marie, whose 27-year-old daughter Helen was killed by pub owner Ian Simms in 1988, said the mirror: “As forensic detective methods become more and more sophisticated, killers resort to increasingly desperate measures to hide the evidence of their crimes.
“There has been a significant increase in cases of dismembered and burnt homicide victims.
“The distress this causes to the victim’s family is incalculable. Yet too often the killer receives no further punishment for the acts committed after the initial homicide.
“Other countries, such as the United States, Australia, Germany and France all have crimes in place to tackle these appalling offenses. The UK does not. Without a change in the law, the cases will continue to increase. Helen’s Law, which Marie spent decades campaigning for, came into effect earlier this year.
Stop the Profanation is also supported by the families of murder victims, including April Jones and Michael O’Leary. It was to be discussed today in the House of Lords.
The proposed amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill was introduced by fellow Liberal Democrat Baroness Sal Brinton. She said: “There can be few things worse for a family than learning that a loved one has been murdered. Then learning that their remains have been abused again, or that their bodies will never be found, brings unimaginable emotional distress.
“Unfortunately, current laws are inadequate, with courts and prosecutors rarely seeking to address the anguish caused by these unspeakable acts.
“These new offenses will ensure that murderers are properly punished for all the horrific acts they commit, thereby ending grieving families.”
Mangori, a 24-year-old shop worker, was on trial for Lorraine’s death and was sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of her murder. It must serve at least 20 years.
Her murder, like that of Sarah Everard, shed light on a number of issues related to violence against women.
She was walking home alone through Exeter in the early hours of the morning when she met Mangori and returned to her apartment. Once inside, he killed her and guarded the body for eight days before getting rid of her and trying to cover up what he had done.
Tony and Mark were present in court every day to hear details of her final hours and watched spooky footage that showed Mangori following Lorraine as she made her way into the city center on her own in the early hours of September 1 of the last year.
They have already spoken of their determination to work with the police and other organizations to make the streets a safer place for women.
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