LEGAL moves are being made to stop unnecessary delays over the burial of victims of suspicious deaths in memory of murdered Paige Doherty.

Mother Pamela Munro wanted to bring the 15-year-old's body back to the family home in Clydebank so friends and family could say their final goodbyes.

But lengthy delays meant her remains were kept for so long it was not possible to have an open coffin.

This meant the family had to 'kiss a box goodbye instead of our little girl'. Now a bill has been lodged by the local MSP Gil Paterson to ensure that post mortems do not take so long Currently in Scotland there are two post mortems, one conducted for the Crown and one for the defence.

The Herald:

He is suggesting thereshould be a strict time limit for the defence lawyers to conduct a second post mortem examination.

Mr Paterson said: "The time involved in getting to the second post-mortem can be an inordinate time and that brings more trauma to the family.

"While few people are touched by this issue – there were 64 homicide victims in 2016-17 – its effect on those people who are, when they are at their most vulnerable, can be immense and it is the experience of one of my constituents which has motivated me to propose this Bill.

Despite the suspect being charged, Mr Paterson said Paige’s family had no certainty about when a decision would be made about her body and when it would be released for burial.

The second post mortem was not held until April 15 and her body was released to her family on April 18, 30 days after her murder.

Mr Paterson added: "There was no transparency in the procedure and this caused a great deal of distress to her family. I hope my proposals will lessen the distress caused for others in similar circumstances."

He believes the changes he hopes to get approved would make the procedure "more transparent and give greater certainty for everyone involved" while "protecting the right to a fair trial".

The Herald: Paige Doherty, 15.

He added: " I believe that my proposals would provide that degree of certainty about when a decision must be taken while also protecting the rights of the defendant to a fair trial.

"I believe it is possible to retain a criminal justice system based on the fundamental principle of a right to a fair trial whilst, at the same time, giving victims’ families greatercertainty about when they will be able to hold a funeral for their loved ones."

The proposed bill comes after he 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.

John Leathem, 32, a married father-of-two was given a mandatory life term after he admitted killing the teenager at his deli in Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, on March 19.

Paige's body was found two days later in a wooded area. She had more than 140 injuries and had been stabbed 61 times.

The Herald: GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 12: Pamela Munro, the mother murdered teenager Paige Doherty, reads a statement to the press following the sentencing of John Leathem for the death of Paige Doherty in Clydebank on 19 March 2016, taken outside the High Court on

Ms Munro identified her daughter over a TV screen the day after her body was discovered.

Two days later, the family were allowed to see Paige in person. They were told they 'couldn't hold or cuddle her' but Ms Munro said she was just 'grateful' to see her daughter.

However, as defence lawyers are allowed up to 110 days to arrange a second post-mortem, the family had to wait almost a month before being told Paige's body had deteriorated beyond the point where it could be brought home.

Writing on Facebook Ms Munro said at the time: "On the 24th March after her post mortem from the crown was completed, we had a viewing of her body. I was so grateful I could see our little girl.

"All we could do was see her. We couldn't hold her or lift her to cuddle her we could touch one side of her face and asked not to take pics of her and not to look at her neck injury. She was in fact property of the Crown.

"We stayed for 10 minutes because we were told that for her body to keep intact and not deteriorate to spend as little time as possible and it would give us more chance of having an open coffin.'

She added: 'The fate of that lay with the defence lawyers. A man had been arrested and he was entitled to have a post mortem on his behalf. Someone took our little girl's life, yet the chance of us having her home for her brother and sister to see and say goodbye, that lay with the defence not us."