Judge 'sorry' for remarks on victim statements

A judge has said sorry after the family of a murdered man overheard him saying that victim impact statements make 'no difference' to Parole Board decisions.

Geraldine and Peter McGinty, whose son Colin was stabbed to death 13 years ago, heard Judge Alan White make the comments over video link.

Geraldine told the BBC that Judge White had said: "I feel so very sorry for these families. They make these statements thinking they are going to make a difference, but they make no difference at all."

"Someone should tell them. The heartache that we go through to do these statements, to be told they don't make any difference."

Judge White said he was "sorry" for the effect of his comments, which he said were part of a "private conversation", though he underlined that victim statements do not affect the Parole Board's judgement of a prisoner's risk to the public.