Victims will share their grief at South Shields conference

David Hines, founder of the National Victims' Association.

David Hines, founder of the National Victims' Association.

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Families who face living with the heartache after losing a loved one at the hands of a killer will gather together this weekend.

The National Victims’ Association will host its annual conference in South Shields this weekend.

This is an opportunity to rekindle friendships and for them to meet somebody else who has been through the same thing.

David Hines

The event will see its founder David Hines, from Jarrow, launch a campaign which will call on the Government to remove convicted killers from the Human Rights Act or exclude them from the Bill of Rights which could be passed.

The relatives of murder and manslaughter victims from South Tyneside are among those expected to address the conference, which sees people from across the UK travel to the event at the Little Haven Hotel, which will host it in its 18th year.

South Tyneside’s coroner Terence Carney will also address the event, with South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck to attend.

Mr Hines, who set up the charity after the murder of his daughter Marie, who was killed by her former partner in 1992, said: “This is an opportunity to rekindle friendships and for them to meet somebody else who has been through the same thing.

“A lot of them feel isolated and spend the rest of the year sitting in their homes.”

He added funding for the organisation’s work, and efforts of others like it, was a constant struggle and it is frustrated by the cash spent on killers.

The Homicide Action Group will also speak to the families about its work and call for more support to help the families of victims, as will Nigel Smith, a solicitor for Slater and Gordon, who will talk about what financial support is available.

The conference is on Saturday from 9am.