THE self-confessed killer of a North-East mother could soon face justice after a landmark vote in the House of Commons.

Billy Dunlop admitted killing Billingham pizza delivery girl Julie Hogg after he had been acquitted of her murder.

But because of the double jeopardy rule, which says a defendant cannot be tried twice for the same crime, he has not faced a jury since his admission to the 1989 killing, although he was charged with perjury for earlier testifying that he did not kill Julie.

On Monday night, MPs voted in favour of changes to the Criminal Justice Bill, which include allowing second trials in serious cases where there is significant new evidence.

The changes must now go to the House of Lords for a final vote and Julie's mother, Ann Ming, is hoping the law will soon be changed.

She said: "I am happy that after all this time we seem to be making progress, but please God let it get through the Lords.

"Once it has been made law, I will be knocking on the door of the Crown Prosecution Service calling for them to look at Dunlop's case again so he can face justice at last."

Mrs Ming and her husband, Charlie, have been campaigning, alongside The Northern Echo for justice for Julie since her murder.

They have been joined by Julie's son, Kevin, who was only three when his mother was killed.

Yesterday, a spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said the force was not willing to say if it would ask the CPS to re-examine Dunlop's case.

She said: "We will watch any developments with interest, but until the law has changed we will not be making any decisions on any cases and we would not like to pre-empt anything being discussed in the House of Lords."