Children's campaigner Sara Payne critically ill

The mother of murdered schoolgirl Sarah Payne was in a "life-threatening condition" today after being rushed to hospital with complications after brain surgery.

But a family source said that Mrs Payne has responded well to treatment . He said: "The early signs of her treatment were positive.''



Child protection campaigner Sara Payne, 40, fell ill yesterday. Family members originally intended to keep her plight private until after the Christmas period.



Friend Michele Elliott, founder and director of campaign group Kidscape, said: "Sara is the most wonderful and indomitable person and if anyone can get through this, it's her.

"Everyone needs to pray and send their good thoughts at this difficult time. I have been in tears."

Relatives and friends, including fellow campaigner Shy Keenan, have been at her hospital bedside, she said.



Mrs Payne had a life-saving operation to cure a ruptured aneurysm last year, friends said.

The head nurse at St George's Hospital, in Tooting, south London, where she is believed to be receiving treatment after suffering complications, was unable to confirm her condition this morning.

Since the death of her daughter Sarah at the hands of paedophile Roy Whiting in 2000, Mrs Payne has become a prominent campaigner for victims' rights.

She took up the Government-appointed post of Victims' Champion at the end of January.

Mrs Payne launched a high-profile campaign for "Sarah's Law" after her daughter's murder, giving parents the right to know if paedophiles live near them.

A limited form of the law, based on America's Megan's Law, was announced in February last year.

She was given an MBE for her tireless work to keep children safe from paedophiles in the 2008 New Year Honours List.

Her daughters Charlotte, 15, and Ellie, five, are being looked after by relatives over Christmas. Her sons Lee and Luke are 22 and 21.



Mrs Payne's father Brian Williams, who died two years ago, was left paralysed by an aneurysm at 55, according to reports.

Her eight-year-old daughter disappeared while out playing in July 2000. Sixteen days later, Mrs Payne, originally from Surrey, was told Sarah's body had been found in a Sussex field, around 15 miles from the cornfield near her grandparents' home where the little girl had been playing.

Whiting had previously served a jail sentence for abducting and sexually assaulting another eight-year-old girl.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test