I recently made a complaint about Judge Buckingham, who, when sentencing a woman, said that if Miss Parry was a man, he would have been “straight down the stairs”, serving a custodial sentence. The judge decided not to send that woman to prison, even though she made it clear that if it was a man he would have gone to prison.
I will end with a check on the females in prison at the moment. This is a snapshot from the Ministry of Justice of 3,300 prisoners: 943 are in prison for violence against the person, including 338 homicides. Should those people not be in prison? There are 480 in prison for violence with injury; 21 are in for rape, the victims in all cases being other women; 87 are in prison for other sexual offences; 284 women are in for robbery; and 229 for burglary. Which of those should not be in prison? Who will say to their local communities that they want those people out of prison, free to commit crimes? It is an absolute disgrace.
Why can we not have the principle that whether someone is a man or a woman, the court will treat them exactly the same? That is what British justice should be about, and I hope the Minister will preside over that system.