Dangerous Offenders: Increased Sentences

Justice – in the House of Commons at on 20 February 2024.

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Photo of Nigel Mills Nigel Mills Conservative, Amber Valley

What steps he is taking to increase sentences for dangerous offenders.

Photo of Gareth Bacon Gareth Bacon The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Measures in the Sentencing Bill will ensure that those who commit the worst crimes will receive the most severe punishment. The Bill creates a duty for the court to impose a whole life order for murders currently subject to a whole life order starting point and for those that involve sexual or sadistic conduct, unless there are exceptional circumstances. The Bill will also ensure that convicted rapists must serve 100% of their custodial term in prison, followed by a licence period.

Photo of Nigel Mills Nigel Mills Conservative, Amber Valley

I thank the Minister for his answer and welcome those measures. The two worst cases I have had to deal with as an MP was where women were brutally murdered by a partner or ex-partner. What are the Government going to do in response to the Clare Wade review to increase sentences for people who commit those awful, vile offences?

Photo of Gareth Bacon Gareth Bacon The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

My hon. Friend is quite right to raise the issue of domestic homicide. We are determined to act to protect the victims of domestic abuse and ensure that the appropriate punishments are in place for perpetrators. That is why, following Clare Wade KC’s review, we are increasing sentences by introducing statutory aggravating factors for murders that are preceded by controlling or coercive behaviour, involve overkill, or are connected with the end of a relationship.

Photo of Gregory Campbell Gregory Campbell Shadow DUP Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

Does the Minister agree that wider society’s confidence in the judicial system is often determined by how dangerous offenders are treated? Does he agree that it is vital that we get the message out there, both to wider society and to potential offenders, that there is the ultimate price to pay, which is a long sentence in prison for criminal offences such as these?

Photo of Gareth Bacon Gareth Bacon The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his question. I agree with those sentiments entirely.