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Unduly Lenient Sentences

Volume 700: debated on Thursday 16 September 2021

7. What recent comparative assessment she has made of the annual performance of the unduly lenient sentence scheme. (903464)

In 2020 my office received, and as the Law Officers we reviewed, 552 referrals under the unduly lenient sentence scheme. Ninety-seven of those were referred to the Court of Appeal and 61 sentences were increased. In February, I was proud to present in the Court of Appeal a case in which the victim was raped while in a relationship, and I was successful in increasing the defendant’s sentence. It is important that victims report these crimes and that justice is seen to be done.

Last month Cleveland police’s former head of corporate communications, Mr Green, pleaded guilty to making indecent images of children. The district judge gave Mr Green a sentence that involved no jail time and a community order lasting just 24 months. That strikes me as an unduly lenient sentence in any case, but given the position of trust he held in his senior role in Cleveland police, I believe that the case must be reviewed. Will the Attorney General review Mr Green’s sentence and ensure that justice is heard for the victims of his crime?

I thank my hon. Friend for his tireless work on behalf of those who have been affected by cases of this nature. This case was brought to my attention by Steve Turner, the Cleveland police and crime commissioner. As my hon. Friend will be aware, I can only review sentences that fall within the unduly lenient sentence scheme, and as this case was heard at the magistrates court it is ineligible.