New Arthur’s Law Will See Parents That Kill Children Never Released From Prison
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he will support measures to enforce whole-life sentences for people convicted of murdering children, as changes are demanded following the death of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.
Johnson confirmed that the government would be looking to toughen sentences in similar cases ‘as a matter of urgency’, after Arthur’s grandfather spoke out to say ‘no punishment could ever be enough’ for Arthur’s father and step-mother.
Emma Tustin, 32, was jailed for life with a minimum of 29 years, while Thomas Hughes was sentenced to 21 years in prison for manslaughter.
However, under a planned amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, the sentencing guidelines for pre-meditated child murder could be changed to make whole-life prison sentences mandatory – the toughest possible sentence under UK criminal law. The changes have become known as ‘Arthur’s Law’.
Johnson told The Sun:
Anyone who plans then carries out the murder of a child should never be released from prison. So we’re toughening the law to make whole-life orders the starting point for such abhorrent crimes.
The Attorney General is also urgently considering the facts of this case and the sentence handed down, but this is a Government that will always legislate for the toughest possible sentences for such repugnant crimes.
The comments come as MPs spoke out in parliament to reveal their shock and distress at the case, with one Conservative MP saying he felt that the court should ‘lock them up and throw away the key’.
Other politicians called for urgent funding for social services to prevent the kind of failings seen in the handling of Arthur’s case.
‘As we uncover what went wrong and led to Arthur’s tragic death, we must also strengthen our resolve to make sure that those who would do wicked acts to children face justice,’ education secretary Nadhim Zahawi said in a statement to the Commons.
‘We must do absolutely everything in our power to protect vulnerable young children from harrowing and evil abuse.’
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