Domestic Abuse Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:08 pm on 2nd October 2019.

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Photo of Mark Garnier Mark Garnier Conservative, Wyre Forest 4:08 pm, 2nd October 2019

I am very grateful to my right hon. Friend.

There are two points. The first is that “she was asking for it” cannot possibly be a defence when somebody dies. Apart from anything else, the individual does not have the ability to defend themselves, and their reputation is being destroyed in front of the people they loved, the people who care for them and their friends. That is absolutely wrong. The “Fifty Shades of Grey” defence cannot be allowed.

The second point is that victims’ families are not qualified to make the decision about changing the charge so that there can be a better chance of a conviction. We need people who are brilliantly clever at this—brilliant barristers who are brave enough to fight these cases on behalf of the victims. But what we can do is ensure that the decision is made by somebody who really understands the process, so that the Director of Public Prosecutions is the one who is consulted if a change is going to be made in a case pertaining to this type of injury and homicide in a domestic abuse setting. In that way, these families will get the support they need.

Natalie Connolly would have been 28 now, with a young daughter growing up in a warm family, but she is no longer with us. If there is any way in which we can remember her, we have to do something to make sure that this can never happen to anybody ever again.