Topical Questions

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 15th February 2011.

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Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice 2:30 pm, 15th February 2011

As the Under-Secretary of State, my hon. Friend Mr Blunt, said in reply to a question a moment ago, sentencing is a matter for the Sentencing Guidelines Council and for the judges, who hear all the facts of the case; they can hear a victim's statement and they can hear mitigation for the accused. We keep an eye on percentages, of course, but the sentence in each case has to be the appropriate sentence for the facts of and the offender in the case. Although burglary is a serious offence that normally attracts imprisonment, it covers a wide range of circumstances, from someone breaking in with a hood over his head in the middle of the night to someone walking through an open door grabbing a knick-knack and running out through the door again. So we have to leave it to the judges.