Dartford MP leads fight to feed “public’s appetite for offenders to be punished appropriately”
PUBLISHED: 11:12 14 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:12 14 July 2017
He is calling for an expansion of the Unduly Lenient Sentencing scheme
Victims of more crimes should be able to appeal if they feel an offender was offered too lenient a sentence, a Dartford MP has argued.
Currently the Unduly Lenient Sentencing scheme allows victims of crime and the public to ask for sentencing to be increased, but only for a limited number of offences, such as murder, rape and robbery.
Gareth Johnson has called for the scheme to be widened to include offences such as stalking, fraud and the creation or distribution of indecent pictures of children.
In the past year more than 40 per cent of sentences referred have been rejected because they do not fall within the scheme’s criteria.
“It is wrong that often the victim or victim’s relatives who refer such cases, are told they don’t have the right to get a sentence reviewed when a defendant can appeal any sentence,” said Mr Johnson.
“It is right that the defence can appeal sentences that are too harsh but the prosecution should be able to appeal sentences that are too lenient. At the moment that cannot happen in the vast majority of cases.
“The criminal justice system is there to protect people, but the system we have at the moment doesn’t always achieve that.”