Judge Rinder demands law change after Lucy Letby refuses to attend sentencing
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Judge Rinder is demanding a change in the law after killer Lucy Letby refused to attend her sentencing earlier this week.
The Leader of the Opposition and Labour Leader Keir Starmer voiced similar views, though he added that if he was PM it would have been the law for Letby to attend her sentencing.
And now, Rob Rinder, more commonly known as Judge Rinder, has weighed into the debate - taking to X (Twitter) to call for the law to change.
He wrote: "Families of children murdered by Lucy Letby gave impact statements today. They could not direct them at the nurse who killed their babies b/c Letby was allowed to stay away & not hear the unbearable pain of her victims.
"Her absence was lawful. It’s time to change that law. Now."
Rinder added: "There were no practical impediments whatsoever to Letby being in court or appearing by video link (if practically necessary) to hear the voices of the families.
"I get the problem(s) of bringing an unwilling person to court. But the absence of a law compelling them is deeply unhelpful. Most clients listen to counsel.
"Few would refuse once told they were legally required to attend unless correctly advised that it is lawful not to."
Well, it appears that the government will be changing the law, after Letby's lack of appearance in court was described as a 'disgrace' which 'spits in the face' of the justice system by the families of her victims.
In response the government has pledged to change the law 'at earliest opportunity', with justice secretary Alex Chalk saying they were 'committed' to making the change.
However, some legal experts have voiced concerns at the law forcing criminals into the dock for their sentencing.
Lord Thomas, former Lord Chief Justice, said it was 'obvious' to have such powers in certain cases where the threat of a longer sentence would be the price for a convicted person's disrespect, but in cases like Letby's which received a whole life order, it may not work as hoped.
He explained that he had once seen 'someone in the United States bound and gagged in court' and didn't think it was 'an appropriate solution'
As a suggestion, he said that the sentencing could be broadcast into a person's cell.