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Original Source:  EXPRESS: 17 JULY 2011
Sunday July 17,2011
By James Murray and Tracey Kandohla

Peter Lawrence with Claudia, who vanished in 2009.

 THE father of chef Claudia Lawrence is hoping the Government will this week back his call to give the families of missing people greater support.



Solicitor Peter Lawrence will help present the findings of a Parliamentary inquiry at Downing Street tomorrow into the problems faced by the families of people who disappear.


Among those who gave evidence was Kate McCann, whose daughter Madeleine vanished in Portugal four years ago.

 Mr Lawrence, 64, said it had been an “absolute nightmare” dealing with the disappearance of Claudia, 35, who vanished from York in March 2009.


As well as trying to find her, he also endured the heartbreaking task of sorting out her mortgage and other domestic matters.


Now he hopes the inquiry will result in a new law allowing families to appoint a trustee to deal with the affairs of missing people 90 days after they disappear.


Mr Lawrence told the Sunday Express: “There is a system in Australia which enables people to make an application to court when somebody has been missing for 90 days to act, in effect, as a trustee of that person’s assets so you can deal with them. In this country now banks and building societies quite rightly say they have no right to deal with the families of missing people.


“This is a nightmare situation which affects thousands of people every year in this country.”


The trustees would act only to preserve and manage assets and would not have the power to take money from the accounts of missing people. “I am hopeful there will be new law after the recess,” added Mr Lawrence.


In her evidence, Kate McCann told the inquiry: “If your house is burgled you are offered victim support with emotional, practical and legal assistance.


“If your child goes missing, you may get nothing. This inquiry has the potential to change that.”


Scotland Yard detectives told to review Madeleine’s case by Prime Minister David Cameron have met her parents.



Doctors Kate and Gerry, both 43, are convinced that it is only a matter of time before they get a breakthrough. Their private investigators, headed by former Detective Inspector David Edgar, have also met the team.


A source close to the family said yesterday: “Kate and Gerry have had several meetings with police reviewing their daughter’s case over the past month. They are relieved that something is finally happening.”


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