Family's fears killer who stabbed Bradford mum to death in 1998 could return to Bradford after release from prison

Family fears killer who stabbed Bradford mum to death in 1998 could return to city

FEARS: Above right, Sandha Robertson with a picture of her late mother-in-law, Mary Robertson. Above left, a Telegraph & Argus report from 1999 about the case with a picture of Jane Cawley (upper right) and her victim Mary Robertson (lower left). Belo

MEMORIES: Sandha Robertson with a picture of her late mother-in-law, Mary Robertson

CONCERN: Sandha Robertson with a picture of her late mother-in-law, Mary Robertson

First published in News
Last updated
Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

THE family of a pensioner who was murdered by a prostitute she had given shelter to fears her killer may return to Bradford if she is released.

The daughter-in-law of Mary Robertson, who was stabbed to death on Boxing Day 1998, said she was devastated by the thought of seeing the killer.

"It's just like we are reliving it, what we had to endure," said Sandha Robertson.

The 67-year-old was killed at the home of her lifelong friend Nora Stannard in Church Street, Manningham.

Jane Pauline Cawley admitted murder and wounding with intent and was jailed for life in November 1999.

Mrs Stannard was also stabbed and had her throat slashed, but survived.

The two women befriended Cawley after they had met in the New Inn, Manningham, and offered to take her in away from her pimp. Cawley attacked them when she refused to leave after outstaying her welcome.

A minimum jail term was not set by the judge but a High Court hearing in July 2008 reviewed the case and set a tariff of 13 years and six months.

Now, Cawley comes before a Parole Board hearing this month and Mrs Robertson's family is anxious she will be released and eligible to return to Bradford.

They have been asked to prepare a victim personal statement ahead of the hearing.

Sandha Robertson, 51, of Wibsey, said: "It's just been absolutely devastating. You cope with it but this has brought it all back to the forefront. It's just like we are reliving it, what we had to endure.

"We are carrying the life sentence, not her. The trauma it has caused our family is unbelievable.

"It's appalling. Life should be life.

"The fact that she can come back into Bradford is absolutely appalling. It beggars belief that it could actually happen.

"Bradford is a very small place. The city centre is very small. The chances of bumping into anyone in Bradford is high. It is creating a situation that is totally unacceptable.

"It's opening everything up again. The Parole Board have not told us a date for her hearing. We have to prepare a statement to hand over to the Parole Board.

"What she did was callous and heartless, to somebody who was offering her some compassion. The family are trying to get each other through it again."

A Parole Board spokesman said: "The Parole Board can confirm that Jane Cawley’s case is currently under review and a decision is expected to be made in August.

"The Parole Board is fully committed to fulfilling its duties towards victims and complying with the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime.

"This includes providing victims with the opportunity to make a Victim Personal Statement and to request licence conditions such as setting up exclusion zones and prohibiting the offender from contacting particular individuals.

"Aside from these legal requirements, the Board is committed to treating all victims with sensitivity and respect."

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