Anguish goes on for family of murdered pensioner after decision on killer's potential release is deferred

Sandha Robertson with a picture of Mary Robertson

Sandha Robertson with a picture of 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 are furious after the decision on her killer's potential release was deferred until next year.

The daughter-in-law of Mary Robertson, who was stabbed to death on Boxing Day 1998, said she was frustrated after hearing her killer will now hear about her decision of the Parole Board in January next year.

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 in the attack, 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, after Cawley went before the Parole Board on August 6 and expecting to have a definitive decision within 14 days, Mrs Robertson's family whave been told by the West Yorkshire branch of the National Probation Service that her case has been deferred for a further five months.

Mrs Robertson's daughter-in-law Sandha Robertson, 51, of Wibsey, said the extra delay was causing additional "turmoil" to her family. Earlier this month she said her family were concerned Cawley would be allowed to return to Bradford if she was released.

She said: "It's very frustrating.

"It's also infuriating. The anguish that it causes is unbelievable. We will have to go through all of this upset and turmoil again in five months.

"On one hand it's good that she will not be out on the streets.

"But it will be going on in the back of our minds until January. It's quite needless. It just prolongs everything.

"The next few months are going to be horrendous. I was not prepared for it to be referred.

"We had been bracing ourselves and thought that we would have an outcome. Knowing we would have to go through that down the line is frustrating.

"A few months now, it does seem a long wait. We don't know why it has been deferred. They said they can't discuss it with us. She has committed two horrific crimes, how can they not discuss it with us?"

A Parole Board spokesman said they do not give out specific case details, or would be able to confirm Cawley's case has been deferred until January.

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