Walk to Holyrood for victims of crime

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THE brother of a local woman murdered by her husband in 1994 has pledged to walk to Holyrood in an effort to raise awareness of the trauma faced by victims of crime.

Peter Morris had to endure the trial of brother-in-law Malcolm Webster, who was recently found guilty of murdering his wife Claire in a staged car accident in 1994.

Webster, whose high-profile trial attracted world-wide coverage, was also found guilty of attempting to marry another woman in Oban bigamously, and attempting to murder yet another in New Zealand. He was jailed for a minimum of 30 years in May.

Mr Morris told the Times that he planned to walk the distance to Holyrood - around 150 miles - to raise awareness of the plight of crime victims.

Scheduled for August 30, he plans to take a coastal route incorporating as many towns as possible, culminating in the presentation of a petition to the Scottish Parliament calling for greater recognition of victims’ rights in Scotland.

He says that he also plans to set up a new foundation to support victims of crime, named for his sister. CLAIRE (Caring, Loving and Invigorating Retreat Environment) which, he says, will offer victims a refuge for recuperation.

Mr Morris said: “Sitting through a criminal trial can be among the most traumatic events of anyone’s life. What I’m aiming to do is raise awareness and sponsorship which will allow the CLAIRE Foundation to set up an all-year round retreat for families affected by crime, where they can relax in a holiday environment. There is support available, but nothing like this at the moment.”

He added that he hoped MSPs at the Scottish Parliament would meet him to hear his case for improved support services.

“The walk is to raise awareness - I would love to be able to hand over a petition to an MSP, and know that Holyrood will look seriously at improving the services available to victims of crime. I’m really motivated by a desire to get changes.”

Mr Morris, who is seeking sponsorship for the event, can be contacted at, petermorris63@hotmail.co.uk.