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New law created thanks to charity established following Hermitage double murder

A CHARITY established in the wake of a tragic double murder in Hermitage has successfully campaigned for getting a new offence of strangling and suffocation created.

Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse (AAFDA) was created by Frank Mullane after his sister and nephew were killed.

Julia Pemberton and her 17-year-old son Will were shot dead by her estranged husband, Alan Pemberton, at their home in Slanting Hill in November 2003. Mr Pemberton, a 48-year-old businessman, then turned the gun on himself.

Frank Mullane (57196653)
Frank Mullane (57196653)

Their daughter Laura, then aged 19, was away studying at Cambridge University and survived.

The change to the Domestic Abuse Act came into force on Tuesday (June 7) and makes non-fatal strangulation and suffocation specific offences punishable by up to five years in prison.

Since the tragedy Mr Mullane has become an expert on domestic violence and has advised hundreds of families who have lost relatives through murder and suicide following such offending.

He said: "When I read the history of someone killed by domestic violence, time and time again the warning signs of previous strangulations are there.

"The violence of strangulation and suffocation is widespread and the dangers of it are not well understood.

"It is used to control mostly women, in domestic abuse and it increases seven-fold the risk of those being controlled to go on to be killed as well as having potential serious medical consequences.

"I feel very sure that this new law will save lives."

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