Swindon MP welcomes post-Letby sentencing changes

By Barrie Hudson - 31 August 2023

  • South Swindon MP Sir Robert Buckland

    South Swindon MP Sir Robert Buckland

South Swindon MP Sir Robert Buckland has voiced strong support for Government plans to force defendants in serious cases to appear in court for sentencing.

The changes have been announced in the wake of widespread public outrage that serial murderer of babies Lucy Letby was able to refuse to appear in the dock for the verdict or sentencing.
There was similar anger over the refusal of other defendants to appear for sentencing, including Thomas Cashman, who murdered nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel in Liverpool.
Sir Robert also voiced his approval of the inquiry into the Letby case being given statutory powers, meaning it can compel witnesses to appear.
He said: "I warmly welcome the Government's announcement to pass a new law to allow judges to force defendants in serious cases, where they face life imprisonment, to come into court, and for them to have an extra penalty if they refuse to do so.
"I think this is extremely welcome and I very much hope the Government will introduce it at the earliest opportunity."
Turning to the inquiry, he said: “I am very glad that the Letby Inquiry will now have statutory powers.  
"It is essential that we understand the full truth of this horrific set of circumstances.”


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