MSP Joins Peter Morris On Memorial Walk

>> 31 August 2011

North East SNP MSP Mark McDonald has today (Wednesday 31st August) joined Peter Morris on the first day of his walk from Tarves in Aberdeenshire to Edinburgh in memory of his sister, Claire Morris, who was murdered by her husband Malcolm Webster.

Peter Morris and Mark McDonald MSP
Aberdeen Law Project members -
Madison Gray, Shannon Stewart, Catherine Barclay
Mr. Morris is walking around 150 miles from the grave site in Tarves to Edinburgh in order to raise awareness of the foundation he intends to establish in memory of his sister, along with members of the Aberdeen Law Project from Aberdeen University who have been instrumental in assisting Mr. Morris’ campaign. He intends to use the walk to collect signatures for a petition, to be submitted to the Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee, asking for greater support to be given to the families of the victims of serious crime.

Mr. Morris intends to set up a foundation called CLARE, which stands for Caring, Loving and Invigorating Retreat Environment, to provide emotional support for the relatives and loved ones of crime victims. Mr. Morris, who attended nearly all of the four month trial which led to his sister’s husband’s conviction for her murder, has previously said that while practical help is available to the families, there is a lack of emotional support.

Mr. McDonald, who has supported Mr. Morris’ campaign, including his efforts to have his sister’s gravestone, which bears her married name of Webster, replaced, has joined Mr. Morris for the first day of the walk. Mr. McDonald will also meet Mr. Morris with Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill when Mr. Morris arrives in Edinburgh in two weeks’ time.

Commenting, after completing the first stage of the walk with Mr. Morris by reaching Newburgh this afternoon, Mr. McDonald said,

“I fully support Mr. Morris’ campaign to improve the level of emotional support to families going through what can only be described as a hugely traumatic experience, and I hope that during the course of the walk, he is able to collect more signatures for the petition.

“It is important that the value of emotional support for the families of the victims of serious crime is not underestimated, and I appreciate Mr. Morris’ efforts to use his own difficult experience to improve things for the lives of other families placed in a similar situation. It isto Mr. Morris’ credit that he is ensuring that his sister’s legacy is both positive and constructive, and will provide help for other families.

“I am also pleased that the Aberdeen Law Project have helped Mr. Morris’ campaign, and will be accompanying him the whole way to Edinburgh. The Law Project, which is student run and provides free legal advice to those who would not otherwise have access to such advice, have been instrumental in the campaign and I think they must be congratulated on being so involved.

I wish him all the best for the remainder of his walk and would urge others to show their support by joining Mr. Morris on his walk, even if just for a short while.”

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