Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:34 am on 22nd January 2009.

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Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Shadow Minister (Defence) 11:34 am, 22nd January 2009

May we have an in-depth statement from the Secretary of State for Justice on sentencing policy in the light of the horrific case of the multiple rape of a 15-year-old girl with the mental age of eight or nine by up to 10 assailants? Only four of those assailants would probably have been convicted—six had to be let go. One of those who would probably have been convicted was killed in a street brawl because he was out on bail—incredibly—after the multiple rape. The other three were sentenced to between nine and six years each for not only raping the poor young woman but dousing her with caustic soda in an attempt to cover the evidence. There are no mitigating factors, given the total contempt that they showed for their victim even during the court case. The Attorney-General is rightly considering whether the sentences should be increased, but surely we need a statement so that we know whether they are increased and whether such villains would be considered for release halfway through their sentences, which would make nonsense of imposing the sentences in the first place.

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