A SOUTH Yorkshire woman whose husband vanished on a jet skiing trip in Bali two-and-a-half years ago relived her ‘nightmare’ as part of a parliamentary inquiry into the way families are treated when loved ones go missing.
Jacqui Hoyland, aged 45, joined the father of missing Yorkshire chef Claudia Lawrence, in giving evidence at the week-long inquiry.
Kate McCann, whose daughter Madeleine vanished on a family holiday in Portugal in May 2007, just days before her fourth birthday, also gave evidence.
And Rachel Elias, sister of Manic Street Preachers guitarist Richey Edwards who went missing in 1995, also spoke of her experiences.
Jacqui, now bringing up her two daughters alone in Penistone, has been fighting to prove her husband Jeremy’s death since he vanished in October 2008.
The internationally renowned jet skier went missing off the coast of Bali as he brought up the rear of a pack of friends.
He made a number of SOS calls to raise the alarm while he was out at sea but disappeared without trace.
But unless Jacqui can convince the authorities to issue her with a death certificate presuming her husband is dead she may have to wait seven years before finance and insurance companies accept it.
She said she broke down during the parliamentary inquiry as she spoke publicly about her family’s ordeal.
“The inquiry was to establish what support is required for the loved ones of missing people and the session I attended was about the Presumption of Death Act, which exists in Northern Ireland and Scotland but not England and Wales,” Jacqui said.
“Where the Act is in place there is a protocol that is followed whereas here there is nothing and all we are left with is trying to prove the death at court in front of a judge, where families present their evidence and insurance companies can challenge it.
“I have been told this can cost £30,000 and there is no guarantee that you will win so you could end up having to pay court costs.
“The whole situation is a nightmare and I broke down for the first time when I spoke about what we have had to go through.
“I hope in some way that this will help other families if they find themselves in my situation.”
Jacqui said she had met a number of people in the House of Commons during her visit and hopes to eventually have a meeting with Foreign Secretary William Hague.