Child murderers WILL spend life in prison under new sentencing billMarch 6, 2021
Child murderers WILL spend life in prison under new sentencing reform bill that will also hand judges power to lock up offenders aged 18 to 20 after Manchester Arena bomber Hashem Abedi missed strictest jail time due to his age
- New law coming next week will give judges new powers on whole life sentences
- Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill comes after Manchester Arena trial
- It will also bring increased prison terms for sexual and violent offenders
Judges will be able to impose whole life sentences on anyone who murders a child as part of a law coming into force next week.
The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill will also bring allow extended sentences for sexual and violent offenders.
Until now judges could only impose whole life sentences, where criminals can expect to die in prison, on crimes where there is a sadistic or sexual motive.
But from next week new powers mean they can be applied to anyone who murders a child, including offenders aged 18 to 20 for the first time, the Times reported.
Mr Justice Jeremy Baker lamented he was unable to give Manchester Arena bomber Hashem Abedi a whole life sentence
Whole life sentences came to the fore in 2020 when the Manchester Arena bomber’s brother Hashem Abedi was given life and a minimum term of 55 years- the longest in history- for playing an integral part in the attack at an Ariana Grande concert.
His brother, Salman Abedi, killed himself and 22 others in the attack, injuring hundreds.
In sentencing Mr Justice Jeremy Baker lamented he was unable to hand the terrorist, who was given 24 concurrent life sentences, a harsher sentence because he was under 21 at the time.
He said at the time: ‘I have no doubt that if the accused, like his brother, had been 21 years of age or over at the time of the explosion at the Manchester Arena, then not only would the appropriate starting point have been the imposition of a whole-life order but, despite such mitigation as would have been available to the defendant including his relatively young age, this would have been the just sentence in this case, bearing in mind the exceptional seriousness of his offending, including the young age of many of the intended targets and the large number of those both killed and very seriously injured.”
Terrorist Hashem Abedi was given 24 concurrent life sentences and a minimum of 55 years behind bars – but the judge wanted more
Life sentences will also be able to be imposed on those found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving or under the influence.
Robert Buckland, the justice secretary, said in the Times the reforms would shut the “revolving door of crime”.
About 70 criminals in the UK are currently serving whole life sentences.
Among those are notorious killers Rose West, Suffolk Strangler Steve Wright, Levi Bellfield, Dale Cregan and Lee Rigby killer Michael Adebolajo.
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