Daugh­ter of mur­dered aid worker vows change

STALK­ING: Bethany Haines pre­pared to speak out to help as many peo­ple she can

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS - Paul re­och

The daugh­ter of a mur­dered Perthshire aid worker is cam­paign­ing to have stalk­ing laws changed af­ter claim­ing her for­mer part­ner “stole” a year of her life.

Bethany Haines, 20, whose fa­ther David was mur­dered by IS, said she is will­ing to talk to the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment in a bid to help pro­tect vic­tims of emo­tional abuse.

Her for­mer part­ner, An­drew Mur­ray, 22, was re­leased from prison on ap­peal in Jan­uary and given a com­mu­nity sen­tence.

Mur­ray had ini­tially been jailed in Oc­to­ber for stalk­ing Miss Haines and for con­trol­ling be­hav­iour over a six-month pe­riod in 2016.

Perth Sher­iff Court had heard that Mur­ray was jeal­ous of her male friends and ac­cused her of be­ing un­faith­ful to him.

The court heard that Mur­ray ripped up a trea­sured 45-page scrap­book ded­i­cated to Bethany’s late fa­ther be­cause he was jeal­ous of a pho­to­graph of her for­mer part­ner.

Fol­low­ing Mur­ray’s re­lease from prison, Miss Haines de­cided she had to take ac­tion.

“I am go­ing to tell my story more and try to help as many girls and boys as pos­si­ble in my sit­u­a­tion,” she told BBC Scot­land.

“I’ve had so many mes­sages from girls go­ing through the same thing and they are too scared to come for­ward.

“There is an ac­cep­tance of zero tol­er­ance for do­mes­tic abuse but that mes­sage from the po­lice feels a bit empty now in that there’s a lot more to do­mes­tic abuse than bruises – it’s a lot deeper and there’s a lot more to it.”

She con­tin­ued: “I would be will­ing to talk to the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment and tell them my story to help get things changed.

“The hard­est thing was get­ting back to learn how to have a nor­mal life again (fol­low­ing the court case). I had to ask per­mis­sion to do ev­ery­thing – com­ing out of it I was still ask­ing my mum if I could use the toi­let, ask­ing if I could get a drink and go out and see and friend.

“I was ask­ing per­mis­sion to do all these ba­sic needs. It’s un­be­liev­able some­body can take away all your free­dom like that and think it’s OK.

“My dad would be proud to see that I’ve moved on and I want to do some­thing with my life that re­ally mat­ters.”

Bethany’s fa­ther was be­headed by the ter­ror­ist dubbed Ji­hadi John in Septem­ber 2014.


Top: Bethany Haines, whose fa­ther David, above right, was mur­dered by IS, suf­fered at the hands of for­mer part­ner An­drew Mur­ray, above left.

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