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Prisoners (Disclosure of Information About Victims) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:36 pm on 11th February 2020.

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Photo of Richard Holden Richard Holden Conservative, North West Durham 3:36 pm, 11th February 2020

I would like to pay tribute to Conor McGinn, who made an incredibly powerful speech, and to the Government for bringing forward this legislation, which is not before time.

I want to make a small point about my constituency. There were more than 1,800 victims of sexual assault at the Medomsley detention centre between the 1960s and 1980s. The perpetrators included a gentleman called Neville Husband, who raped boys every day for 15 years and is now known to have had at least 300 victims locally. While I welcome the Bill, I would like to see it extended beyond the crimes mentioned today for those who do not reveal information about victims. Many of those men died before they could come forward, often by suicide. It is incredibly important to recognise that more cases would benefit from the Parole Board bearing in mind the fact that people are not willing to put on record the crimes they have committed.

I would like to mention other cases in the public domain in which criminals have been convicted but their victims have still not been identified. In the recent case of Reynhard Sinaga, we know that there are more victims of his rapes in Manchester, but they have not been identified, and he has never sought to help the police identify them. It would be right for the Parole Board to take that into account in his case and that of others who have acted in a similar way. Similarly, in the case of John Worboys, which my hon. Friend Lucy Allan raised, the names of some victims are still not known. In some cases, mementoes are taken from crimes, and often the perpetrator will know the victims but still will not reveal their names.

While I welcome this Bill for victims of paedophilia, murder and manslaughter, I urge the Government in future criminal justice Bills to look at extending this provision to cover other victims.