CLYDEBANK’S MSP has dedicated a proposed parliamentary bill to Paige Doherty and her family.

Gil Paterson is calling for a change to the law regarding the procedure requiring a second post mortem examination in the case of murder victims.

Mr Paterson has carried out extensive research after meeting with the family of Paige following her tragic death in March 2016.

He has now launched his proposed bill after having consulted with Police Scotland, forensic pathology experts, the Dean of the Faculty of Advocates and the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service over the past two years.

The Post previously reported that Pamela Munro and her husband Andy were left devastated to discover they would not be able to have an open coffin at the funeral of the 15-year-old, which took place almost one month after her body was discovered.

Mr Paterson, who has also had meetings with the Law Society of Scotland and the then Justice Secretary, Michael Matheson, said the laws should be changed to allow families to grieve in the way they wish to.

He said: “This is an extremely complex issue which is why it has taken such a lot of work to arrive at this proposed change to legislation.

“It is in everyone’s interest that the right person is found guilty and no one, least of all the families of victims, would want to see that interfered with.

“Obviously, it is an issue which needed careful thought and sensitivity never forgetting that I was working with very traumatised families and loved ones.

“However, I believe it is possible to protect the right to a fair trial while, at the same time, giving victims’ families greater certainty about when they will be able to hold a funeral for their loved ones.

“I’m dedicating this work to the memory of Paige Doherty and to her mother, Pamela Munro, and family.”

Following the research, Mr Paterson arrived at a proposal that he says would make the process of requesting a second post mortem examination more transparent and easier to understand for the families of victims while at the same time protecting the absolute right of the accused to a fair trial.

His suggestion is that there should be a time limit for the defence lawyers to conduct a second post mortem examination and, only if there were sound reasons why they could not do so within the agreed time, they would be able to apply to the court for an extension to the time limit.

John Leathem is serving life in prison for Paige’s murder.

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