Sentencing: Offender Attendance

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

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

I am grateful to my hon. Friend, and I hope he will allow me this opportunity to express my sympathy to the friends and family of Claire Tiltman, who lived in his constituency and, in 1993, was tragically murdered. I was glad to see her murderer brought to justice after so many years. Colin Ash-Smith, like Lucy Letby, was cowardly for not attending the sentencing hearing to face up to his appalling crime. Each case is different, so it is important that the court and the judge have discretion in how to make an attendance order, and in reaching that decision—although we are working through the details—we would expect the courts to consider the full circumstances of each individual case, including any representations made by the prosecution or the defence in that context.