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Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme

Volume 685: debated on Thursday 10 December 2020

The Court of Appeal has this month increased sentences referred by me for a range of offending. Those have included the supply of drugs in one of Her Majesty’s prisons, the possession of firearms, and the rape of a victim who was asleep combined with the making of indecent images and recordings.

Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that the purposes of sentencing include public protection as well as punishment, and that is important for the unduly lenient sentence scheme?

My hon. Friend is entirely right about public protection. It is one reason why, exceptionally, I will refer a case involving a dangerous offender, for example. In two separate cases this year—one involving a stabbing, and the other involving rape, where both the victims were lone females—the offenders had their original sentences extended following my reference to the Court of Appeal to properly reflect the dangerousness of their offending. She is quite right to highlight this point, and that work will continue.

In order to allow the safe exit of Members participating in this item of business and the safe arrival of those participating in the next, I am suspending the House for a few minutes.

Sitting suspended.