Charges of and Penalty for Conspiracy to Defraud

Part of Orders of the Day — Criminal Justice Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:45 pm on 14th May 1987.

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Photo of Bill Cash Bill Cash , Stafford 4:45 pm, 14th May 1987

I wish to speak briefly on clauses 29, 32 and 125. I am sorry that my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Warrington, South (Mr. Carlisle) took the view he did. I am glad that clause 29 will come out, but for a slightly different reason.

The powers in clause 29 are quite inadequate. The ordinary person in the street does not understand why those provisions were so weak. Recently in my constituency a Mrs. Whitehouse, landlady of the Lamb inn in Stafford, was brutally beaten and the person who did it received only a nine months' suspended sentence. If the power had been adequate, the opportunity could have been taken to review the position. I hope that when we return to office shortly a similar but tougher provision will be included in the new Bill.

I am somewhat concerned at the removal of clause 32. I hope that that will come hack rapidly because there is no question but that penalties for crimes must be increased.

Clause 125 relates to anonymity in rape cases. That is a matter of considerable controversy. The ordinary man and woman in the street are deeply concerned about this issue and it must be dealt with.

I take this opportunity to congratulate the Minister on the way in which he has conducted himself in his office. Those of us who are observers of these things have noted, both on the "Today" programme and on many other occasions, the way in which he has done a great service to his office.