Former Lib Dem MP raises fear of sword attacker’s move

Today’s Telegraph reports on the concerns of former Cheltenham Lib Dem MP Nigel Jones, who was injured, and local councillor Andrew Pennington killed, in a brutal attack during a constituency surgery:

A former MP who was attacked by one of his constituents with a samurai sword fears for his safety after his assailant said he wants to move to a town just nine miles away. Lord Jones of Cheltenham is so concerned that Robert Ashman wants to live in nearby Gloucester that he is meeting Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, to express his concerns. Ashman, now 58, stabbed and killed researcher Andrew Pennington six times as he tried to protect Lord Jones, who has Nigel Jones was MP for Cheltenham, in his constituency office in January 2000. …

Ashman was freed last July, just eight years after the attack, when psychiatrists deemed him to be fit to be let out. He has since been living temporarily in Bristol. Ashman has now told authorities that he wants to move to Gloucester, just over nine miles from where Lord Jones and his family live in Cheltenham.

Lord Jones learned of the plans from local police, on behalf of the probation service, in January when he was offered the opportunity to contact the local authority if he objected. Lord Jones declined to speak to The Daily Telegraph. However, a friend of the peer said he was shocked at the powerlessness of victims to stop an attacker from moving to live nearby.

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