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Early release of prisoners branded a ‘nonsense’

A DISTRICT MP has blasted as a “nonsense” the release of prisoners halfway through their sentence.

Philip Davirs, the Shipley MP, is urging the Government to rethink the policy.

He was speaking after newly-appointed Justice Secretary David Gauke addressed MPs about the parole board decision to release John Worboys, who had been jailed for a string of sexual assaults.

Worboys has served less than nine years of what could have been an indefinite sentence.

Mr Davies said the case was not unique for its “leniency”.

He told the Commons: “For many years I have conducted a rather lonely campaign in this House against soft sentencing in the criminal justice system and I suppose I should be grateful that so many of those who have decried me over the years are now leaping onto the same crusade.

“May I urge the Secretary of State not to think that the case of Worboys is unique but to look at soft sentencing across the board – not least the ridiculous situation that we still have on the statute book whereby people given a determinate sentence by law have to be released halfway through their sentence, no matter how badly they behave in prison or how much of a threat they still pose to the public.

“Will he deal with that nonsense in the criminal justice system?

“We need to rebalance the system and put more focus on the needs of the victims and getting them the justice they deserve.”

Mr Gauke said the Shipley MP made his case in a “forthright manner” and was consistent.

He added: “I dare say that this is not the last occasion on which he and I will debate this subject.

“I think we all agree that the public must have confidence in our criminal justice system and our sentencing policy.”

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