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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect