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Family of Peter Tobin 'victim' welcome new death certicate rules
The family of a woman who is feared to have been killed by Peter Tobin have welcomed new rules that could see people declared dead without a body.
New “presumed dead” certificates are to be introduced to help families resolve the affairs of a missing person, ministers have said.
The changes could mean that the families of missing people can finally grieve for their lost loved ones.
The family of Louise Kay who disappeared from Eastbourne in 1988 welcomed the move but said they did not want her declared dead.
Peter Tobin, who lived in Brighton at the time, is believed to have been responsible for her murder, but her body was never been found.
Louise’s sister Nicola said her parents had considered the possibility of Louise being declared dead, but said they would not want it until they had “absolute confirmation” she had died.
She said: “I have heard about a ‘presumed dead’ certificate and I think it is a good idea but we would not get one.
“It would not make sense as Louise disappeared when she was so young and did not mortgage or money.
“But I could understand the need to get such a certificate if there were financial matters to sort out.”
Other people who could potentially qualify for a certificate include Gary Hampson from Old Shoreham Road, Portslade.
The father-of-one has not been seen since January 2011 and four people have been charged in relation to his murder.
Police said they believe he is dead but his body has not been found.
Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly said: “We recognise the emotional rollercoaster faced by families who are left behind.
“The changes we are announcing will ensure that there is a law in place that provides a simple legal framework by which families of missing people can receive the appropriate guidance and tackle the problems they face in a straightforward way.”
Martin Houghton-Brown, chief executive of the Missing People charity, said: “We are delighted with the support that the Ministry of Justice is showing for legislation on presumption of death, and look forward to them identifying parliamentary time to make this legislation happen.
“This announcement shows significant intention to work towards a better future for families of missing people, representing huge step towards easing their heartache.”