Why I’ve written to the Attorney General about appeal from Tavis’ murderer
I was appalled to find out yesterday that one of those found guilty of the murder of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens had five years taken off his 21-year sentence.
Let me be very clear, the act that Kyreis Davies was at the heart of, was an act of evil. As far as I’m concerned, he cannot spend long enough in prison for what he did.
In my opinion, at no stage has this person shown any contrition or remorse whatsoever for his involvement in the brutal murder and I find it deeply troubling, that at the age of 32, he will be able to leave prison with the majority of his life likely ahead of him.
When the sentences were handed down to those found guilty of the murder, I was initially of the view that the response had been quite robust. All of those found guilty would spend more than 20 years in prison, with requirements that all must spend at least the period they’d been sentenced for behind bars.
It was very important that this was stipulated as there have been far too many occasions over the past few years, where those found guilty for murder have been let out automatically at the halfway point of their sentence.
I am glad that the Government has taken action to prevent serious offenders from being let out at the halfway point in their sentence going forwards and in fact it is extraordinary that it was ever allowed to happen in the first place.
What’s frustrating about this case, is that it demonstrates that however tough the Government wants to be, the current justice system means it’s hamstrung by many Judges who frankly don’t seem to understand the core tenets of justice and are hopelessly out of step with public opinion on these matters.
Shocking judgements, like the one made by the Judge at the Court of Appeal earlier this week, will further knock public confidence in the justice system and in the case of the family and friends of Tavis, will very much undermine the sense that justice has been done.
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Clearly nothing will ever bring Tavis back and heal the pain and sorrow felt by his loved ones but clearly knowing that the vile individuals who were behind the crime are adequately punished is crucial to securing a small sense of closure and to deter others from thinking about engaging in such unspeakable violence.
I have sent a letter to the Attorney General today outlining my concerns about the judgement.
This week I made my first virtual contribution to a House of Commons debate. During Attorney General questions I raised the cases that there have been in Suffolk of COVID-19 being used by certain individuals to threaten Police officers through deliberate spitting and coughing.
Later that day I received a written response from Justice Minister Chris Philp on the same topic stating that the Government have increased the limit that those found guilty of this offence can spend in prison from six months to 12 months. A welcome step, but I know many of my constituents think we should go even further than this.
This week I also took part in two more Education Select Committee meetings; on Monday with the Chief Inspector of Ofsted and on Wednesday with the Secretary of State for Education. I raised concerns that under the new Ofsted framework, schools with serious shortcomings regarding the provision for those with special educational needs can still be awarded Good or Outstanding following an inspection.
I also raised concerns that have been raised with me about many of the online teaching resources not being friendly for those who have dyslexia and dyspraxia. Following this question, the Curriculum Director for the online resources has got in touch with me to discuss how they can be improved.
It concerns me that only around a third of children have been taking part in online learning every day and also the impact that school closures are having some of the most vulnerable. The sooner schools can reopen the better but clearly we all need assurances that it’s safe to do so.
Taking part in proceedings virtually in the House of Commons is a rather strange sensation and much is left unclear. For example should I still dress up in a jacket and tie? I didn’t earlier in the week and there were also concerns about my scruffy hair. Unfortunately, as for many, my hair has become a victim of the lockdown and is becoming increasingly unruly.
As the week progressed though I did attempt to get on top of the presentational issues, a tie came back into play, as did the grooming products and I hope we can all agree that I looked quite smart during the Education Select Committee meeting on Wednesday with the Education Secretary.
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