Archaic law must move with the times

Killed: Alan Winters
Killed: Alan Winters
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She loved him; he loved her.

And after dating for a year, the twenty-somethings moved in together. A month later, a baby was on the way. Excited plans were made.

It’s your typical story of modern day young love.

But a future was denied them. Everything turned black.

Two months before the birth of their baby, Alan Winters was killed in an accident at work. He was crushed as he and colleagues at Davy Markham in Darnall tried to unload a four-ton crate.

He was only 28. His devastated partner Laurie Swift was left a single mother at 25.

She has a child from a previous relationship and now a little boy, Alan Junior, who will never know his father.

Antiquated laws ruled she wasn’t allowed a penny in compensation.

She and Alan weren’t married and had not been living together for two years. So tough luck Laurie, said the Fatal Accidents Act 1976. Isn’t that absurdly unfair?

She lost her much-loved partner, yet she is invisible in the eyes of the law.

Last year Laurie won compensation for her son’s loss. But still there was nothing for her.

So yesterday, this courageous young woman took her fight to the High Court, claiming a breach of the Human Rights Act.

If successful, she will head for the European Court and do battle for millions who choose to live together rather than marry - and one day, through some monumental person tragedy, might find themselves in her shoes.

How proud Alan would have been of her.