Monday, June 6, 2011

Killers, sex offenders and muggers will be freed early as jail terms are slashed for 10,000 criminals each year - 6th June 2011

Up to 10,000 criminals a year will have their jail terms slashed under Ken Clarke’s blueprint for softer sentences.

Police Minister Nick Herbert revealed that is the number – including killers, sex offenders and muggers – who could benefit from the Justice Secretary’s plans to go easy on those who plead guilty early.

Judges and magistrates can currently reduce sentences by a third for offenders who admit their crimes and avoid costly court cases, under guidelines drawn up by Labour.

But in an effort to save money, Mr Clarke has launched a consultation on plans to raise the discount to 50 per cent.

He unleashed the fury of women’s groups last month when he said rapists could benefit from the change.

Yesterday Mr Herbert said: 'Ten thousand offenders are pleading guilty at the very latest point in a trial and that is often particularly damaging to the interests of victims, it’s costly and it’s not in the interests of justice.

'We need a system that is deterring unnecessarily late pleas and is also incentivising those who plead guilty at an earlier stage.'

The revelations sparked outrage among senior Conservatives last night and prompted calls for David Cameron to sack the Justice Secretary.

The Prime Minister’s polling guru Andrew Cooper has shown him worrying data which shows the Tories are surrendering their reputation as the party that is tough on crime. Read More