Criminals will be forced to attend sentencing after Lucy Letby case
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Criminals will be forced to attend sentencing hearings following the Lucy Letby murder case.
The Government has promised legislation to force serious offenders to attend their sentencing.
If the proposed reforms go through, which it's likely they will, custody officers will be given the power to use 'reasonable force' to make sure those awaiting sentencing appear in the dock or via video link.
If criminals refuse to appear, they could face an extra two years behind bars.
Earlier this year, Justice Secretary Alex Chalk claimed the government would make sure the most violent criminals would be made to face their punishment.
It comes after the people responsible for the deaths of Olivia Pratt-Korbel, Zara Aleena, and Sabina Nessa refused to come to court for their hearings.
The 33-year-old refused to appear before the court and listen to the victim impact statements prior to her sentencing.
During the hearing on 21 August, the families of the victims branded Letby a 'coward'.
At the time, Sunak announced that the government would be looking to change the law surrounding criminals being allowed not to appear in court to be sentenced.
"The first thing is to extend my sympathies to everyone affected by this," he said.
"I think, like everyone reading about this, it’s just shocking and harrowing.
"Now, I think it’s cowardly that people who commit such horrendous crimes do not face their victims and hear first hand the impact that their crimes have had on them and their families and loved ones."
"We are looking and have been at changing the law to make sure that that happens and that’s something that we’ll bring forward in due course."
Alex Chalk, the current justice secretary, said the government was 'committed' to changing the law so that criminals would be compelled to be present for their sentencing.
Robert Buckland, a former justice secretary, said that Letby should have had the sentencing hearing broadcast in her cell regardless of her wishes.
Speaking to GB News, he said: "She needs to hear the victim’s personal statements, as impact statements that will really bring home I think, to the wider world, the appalling devastating impact of the loss of these innocent children, these innocent babies, have had upon dozens of families."