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Terrorism (Prison Sentences)

Volume 934: debated on Monday 27 June 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many prisoners are currently serving sentences in prisons in England and Wales for Irish Republican Army terrorist offences; and what is the average length of these sentences;(2) how many persons are at present remanded in custody in England and Wales for alleged Irish Republican Army offences; and how long each of them has been on remand.

There is no separate offence of terrorism in our criminal law. Whether an offender can be regarded as a terrorist and whether his offences were linked with particular organisations is a matter of judgment. The following figures are based on our assessment of all relevant information about offences believed to have been connected with Irish Republican organisations:(

a) Convicted prisoners

Total number 92.
Number serving sentences of life imprisonment (including detention under Her Majesty's Pleasure) 29.
Average length of determinate sentences 11·4 years.

( b) Unconvicted prisoners

Total number 5.
Time spent on remand* 15 months (2 cases), 14½ months, 13½ months, 4½ months.

* In one case some time on remand was spent on bail.