A WOMAN forced to wait 18 months to bury her murdered son has welcomed a big step forward in her campaign to reform coroners’ courts.

Cathy Franklin of Blandford says the announcement of the Coroners and Justice Bill in Wednesday’s Queen’s Speech has left her “ecstatic”.

Cathy’s two-year-old son, Ryan, was murdered by his father, Lee Khair, in May 2002. But the grieving mother had to wait until November 2003 to bury her son.

Ryan’s body was held by the courts for 18 months while his father awaited trial. Now the government is committed to reducing this time to 40 days, except in extraordinary circumstances.

“No-one should have to go through what I went through - the extra agony of waiting to bury Ryan was a huge trauma on top of his death,” Ms Franklin told the BBC.

"It will be 'Ryan's Law' so he has not died in vain," she added.

Bob Walter MP joined the brave mum in welcoming the new legislation into this year’s parliamentary programme after it was dropped last year.

The North Dorset MP has long backed the campaign for Ryan’s Law, previously describing the delay to his burial as “an abuse of the law”.

“This piece of legislation is long over due. It should have been included in last year’s legislative agenda but the government ducked the issue.

"I want families like the Franklins to be able to lay the deceased to rest sooner and avoid the unnecessary wait and sadness the current system has caused.

"That is why I am so pleased the campaigning has paid off and we will now get a bill before the House of Commons to change the law in this area,” said Mr Walter.