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Families devastated through murder and manslaughter to come together for annual conference in South Shields

Founder Dave Hines at a previous conference
Founder Dave Hines at a previous conference

Families whose lives have been devastated by the killing of a loved one will gather in South Tyneside for an annual victims conference this weekend.

Relatives bereaved by murder or manslaughter will travel from around the country to take part in the event, organised by the National Victims Association.

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck.

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck.

The charity, founded by Dave Hines, formerly of Jarrow, following the death of his daughter Marie, 23, who was murdered by ex-partner Anthony Davison in 1992, provides support, help and advice to families seeking to see justice being done for their loved ones.

This year’s conference, now in its 21st year, will be talking about the input the charity has had in the new model of services for victims in the UK. It will take place at the Little Haven Hotel in South Shields.

The event will be attended by Tony Rafter from the MoJ, Victims Commissioner Russell A’Court, Metropolitan police commander Stuart Cundy and South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck.

Mr Hines, who now lives in Middlesbrough, 68, said: “We have a number of families who will be attending the conference - some have been before, some this will be their first time.

We have a number of families who will be attending the conference - some have been before, some this will be their first time

Dave Hines

“In the past year, myself and Kevin Hogg have carried out a lot of work with the Ministry of Justice and there will be a new model of service for victims in the U.K from next year.

“For me personally, I’m annoyed as year after year the families of victims are let down.

“We were told to put a wishlist together as there was a grant available, and we requested some money to fund the conference.

“But we were turned down for the funding, but then I get phonecalls from media outlets about prisoners getting this and that - what we are asking for is nowhere near what is spent on prisoners.

“There are a lot of things we will be talking about on Saturday.”

The National Victims’ Association provides support, counselling, advice and advocacy to families bereaved through murder and manslaughter.

Anyone who would like more information can visit www.victimsfirst.org.uk.