A justice campaigner and Plaid Cymru candidate in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections has secured improved working practices in the probation service.
Prompted by the horrendous experience of her 18-year-old son being murdered by an ex-offender on probation, Nadine Marshall and her family have relentlessly campaigned to change working practices to prevent another tragedy.
Conner Marshall was attacked and beaten to death at Trecco Bay in Porthcawl in March 2015 by David Braddon. Braddon was under probation supervision but had missed six rehabilitation appointments and had several convictions including domestic violence and drug offences for which the probation service were unaware of. Braddon is now serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to the murder. Since the incident, Nadine – who is from the Vale of Glamorgan and is standing for election as commissioner for South Wales Police force - has fought to ensure the needs of victims and their families are placed at the heart of the probation service’s working practices.
A revision of the Notification and Review Procedures for Serious Further Offences by HM Prison and Probation Service earlier this month has seen this aim of the Marshall family realised.
In a document produced by HM Prison and Probation Service, it says: “In revising this Probation Instruction, Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service would like to acknowledge the work of Nadine Marshall in memory of her son Conner, who was eighteen years old, when he was brutally murdered in March 2015 by an offender subject to probation supervision in the community.
“Mrs Marshall has campaigned tirelessly for greater access to information and transparency for victims following an SFO, dedicating her time and energy to ensure that bereaved families are given timely and transparent information, in a sensitive manner, when an offender subject to supervision goes on to kill.
“Her work, in honour of Conner, was a driving force in the opening up of the SFO review process, and the creation of the new SFO review format - which is now shared with victims following a conviction where a case triggers an automatic SFO review.
“HMPPS have worked with Mrs Marshall to revise the guidance on victim engagement, and she has provided invaluable insights into victims’ needs and feelings, arising from her own experience since Conner’s tragic death. These changes to the guidance are a lasting legacy for Conner.”
Nadine Marshall said: “I am proud of the changes that I have been able to make. Despite objections I was determined to change a system that simply was not working for the benefit of clients or communities.
“The changes made to working practice will now ensure no other family will have to fight for five years to simply know how and why their loved one was harmed or murdered. Having access to information will now be routine and an entitlement for every victims family.”
Rhondda MS and former probation officer Leanne Wood said: “This is a fantastic achievement by Nadine. Her formidable campaigning work should ensure that victims of serious crimes and the families of victims will be at the fore of the minds and actions of probation officers.
“She has shown incredible tenacity and determination to change things for the better – two qualities that will stand her, and the public, in good stead if she is elected as the next Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales Police.”