Ipswich MP calls for ‘tougher’ and ‘more honest’ criminal sentencing
PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 June 2020
Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has called for clearer and tougher sentencing for criminals in order to build public confidence in the justice system.
Speaking in Parliament during the third reading of the Sentencing Bill, Mr Hunt said he welcomed the changes proposed by the bill which will pave the way for complex sentencing law to be simplified but added that more needed to be done.
“The Bill will make sentencing law more understandable, but more broadly, we currently have a sentencing regime that all too often does not do what it says on the tin,” said Mr Hunt.
“In many cases, when prison sentences are handed down by the courts, the full length of the sentence will never be served.
“These sentences are not honest either to the victims or to the public, who demand justice.”
Mr Hunt also raised the Court of Appeal’s decision to reduce the sentence of Kyreis Davies, one of the men convicted for the murder of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens in 2018, from a minimum of 21 years to just 16 years.
Mr Hunt said Tavis’ death had shaken “the foundations of our town”.
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“It has been a tragedy that has been extremely difficult to move on from, not least for Tavis’s family, who have been through hell,” said Mr Hunt.
“This has only been made harder by the Court of Appeal’s decision to reduce Davies’s sentence from a minimum of 21 years to just 16 years on the basis of his age at the time of this crime.”
Last month, Mr Hunt had indicated his readiness to rebel over Government plans which would have seen some prisoners released even earlier than the half-way point in their sentences.
The plans were cancelled at the last minute.
Speaking after his speech Mr Hunt said:“This Sentencing Bill is quite a technical piece of legislation but ultimately it will make sentences clearer for the public to understand and reduce the number of appeals and drawn out court cases which are so difficult for victims and their families.
“This is undoubtedly welcome but it was important to make the point that we still have a long way to go in building up public confidence in our sentencing regime.
“Going forwards a more comprehensive look needs to be taken at transparency in our courts and putting the law back on the side of victims.
“It’s also crucial that sentences are honest and it’s no longer the norm that prisoners are let out before they have served their full sentence.”
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