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Special committee to look at "Mark's Law"

21 June 2006

A special committee of MSPs is to review the way sex offenders are dealt with.

Holyrood's Justice 2 Committee was told yesterday that Margaret Curran, the Minister for Parliamentary Business, favoured the creation of Holyrood's first subcommittee in order to look at the issue.

Margaret Ann Cummings has petitioned the parliament for changes to the law following the death of her son Mark Cummings in 2004. Mark was murdered by Stuart Leggate, a known sex offender, who was living in the same block of flats in Royston, Glasgow, as Mark at the time.

Mrs Cummings wants parents to be informed if there are registered sex offenders living in their area and for a review of where they are housed. She has also called for special courts to be set up to deal with paedophiles.

The Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson appeared to rule out the idea two days ago, but yesterday her colleague Ms Curran supported the committee's suggestion made last week, after a personal appearance by Mrs Cummings, for a special subcommittee to look into the proposal in the light of a series of measures put forward by the Executive.

The committee now needs formal approval before it can begin work. It will report back to the Justice 2 Committee.