Homicide: Children

Ministry of Justice written question – answered at on 19 September 2023.

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Photo of Matt Vickers Matt Vickers Conservative, Stockton South

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward legislation to make whole-life orders mandatory when sentencing people found guilty of the murder of a child.

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

Whole life orders are already the starting point for the murder of a child where such a murder is premeditated or involves the abduction of the child or sexual or sadistic motivation. On 26 August, the Prime Minister announced plans to make whole life orders the default for those who commit murders in these, and other particularly heinous, circumstances.

The Government also plans to make the murder of an individual, whether an adult or a child, subject to a mandatory whole life order if the murder involves sexual or sadistic conduct.

These reforms will ensure that those who murder the most vulnerable members of our society in the worst possible ways will face the most severe punishment available.

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