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Indecent Assaults (Children)

Volume 530: debated on Thursday 15 July 1954

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85.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware of the inadequate penalties for improper assaults on young children; and if he will introduce legislation to provide for a minimum penalty of imprisonment.

As I explained in answer to a Question by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Huntingdon (Mr. Renton) on 1st April. I have taken note of proposals for increasing the maximum penalties for indecent assault, but cannot say when it may be possible to introduce legislation on this subject. A provision for minimum penalties would be alien from the traditions of our law. It is for the court, in its discretion, to decide the appropriate penalty having regard to the circumstances of the offence and of the offender in each individual case.