Sentencing: Offender Attendance

Part of Justice – in the House of Commons at on 12 September 2023.

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Photo of Gareth Johnson Gareth Johnson Conservative, Dartford

In 2014, Colin Ash-Smith was convicted of murdering 16-year-old Claire Tiltman in my constituency of Dartford. His final insult to her was to refuse to attend the sentencing hearing, so I welcome the proposed changes to compel defendants to face up to the consequences of their actions. However, can the Minister confirm that there will be an opportunity for judges to hear representations from the prosecution, defence, and security staff before such action is taken?