Petition to send South Shields killer to jail nears 5,000 target

Melissa Liddle
Melissa Liddle

A petition calling for the killer of a South Tyneside mum to be sent to prison has reached almost 5,000 signatures.

Nikki Keighley launched the bid over fears that Anthony Ross could be granted unescorted leave from the hospital where he is currently serving a sentence.

Ross killed Melissa Liddle, the mother of his two children, on Mother’s Day - March 15, 2015.

The petition calls for Ross to now be handed a prison sentence for the 23-year-old’s killing - if medics deem him fit to be granted the unsupervised leave.

It has been signed by more than 4,600 people and is currently just short of the 5,000 initial target the family are hoping for.

Melissa had been stabbed 41 times by her jealous boyfriend. Her body was later discovered by her brother Liam and stepdad David Keighley at her home in Oak Avenue, South Shields.

Liam, 21, went on to take his own life, unable to cope with what he saw.

During a hearing into the killing, Newcastle Crown Court heard Melissa’s body had already been discovered earlier in the day by Ross’s father and uncle, who arranged for the killer to have an appointment with a solicitor, but did not contact the emergency services about what they found.

Ross was sentenced to an indefinite hospital order in February 2016 after admitting manslaughter of the grounds of diminished responsibilty.

Now, it is feared he could be granted unescorted leave in the community as part of his rehabilitation - less than four years after the killing Nikki said: “I can’t stress how grateful the family are to everyone who has taken the time to sign and share the petition.

“It doesn’t mean the world to us but we still need as many people as possible to sign and share it.

“We know none of this will bring Melissa back, but it could help us to get justice for Melissa and her two boys.”

To sign the petition visit