Star Hobson and Arthur Labinjo-Hughes deaths have put child killer prison sentencing in the spotlight - The Yorkshire Post says
Polling of over 4,000 adults, conducted for the Northern Policy Foundation thinktank by Deltapoll, found nearly 90 per cent agreed that criminals who are convicted of murdering a child who had been subjected to a prolonged period of abuse or torture should be handed a whole life sentence.
The foundation is now calling for an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to include the “murder of a child that involves torture and/or a prolonged period of child cruelty” as among the types of cases when whole life sentences should be considered.
The sentencing of perpetrators in appalling high-profile cases such as those of the murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes in the West Midlands and of Star Hobson in Keighley in recent months has undoubtedly brought the issue to fore.
The horrific abuse faced by the children was understandably met with an outpouring of disquiet, grief and anguish across the nation.
In December, the Attorney General referred the sentences of Emma Tustin, convicted for the murder of six-year-old Arthur, and Thomas Hughes, convicted of his manslaughter, to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme.
In January, she did the same with the sentence of Frankie Smith, Star’s mother, who was convicted of causing or allowing the death of the toddler.
Given the Attorney General considers each of those sentences to be unduly lenient, it does raise the question of whether guidance around sentencing needs to be looked at again, and with the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill currently in its final stages, perhaps now is an opportune moment.