Punish judges who give lenient sentences, Tory MP says

Jon Stone
Tory MP Philip Davies said judges should be held 'accountable': House of Commons

Judges who “consistently” give lenient sentences to criminals should be punished, a Conservative MP has said.

Philip Davies said judges who do not jail offenders when it would be “justifiable” should face “consequences” - especially when those people go on to commit more crimes.

The Shipley MP made the comments in a House of Commons debate about the second reading of the Prisons and Courts Bill, which aims to streamline the justice system.

“It should be clear to many that where a judge consistently allows offenders to avoid prison and those offenders go on to make others suffer as a result of their continuing crime spree, there should be accountability for the judge,” Mr Davies said.

“And there should really be consequences for that judge as well.

“In particular, where they don't hand down custodial sentences which would be perfectly justifiable and possibly even expected, and particularly when the offender goes on to reoffend.”

The MP did not specify what the consequences should he, but said the plan would improve “accountability”.

Although the Ministry of Justice has not responded to Mr Davies’s, the Justice Secretary Liz Truss said last year that “the independence of the judiciary is the foundation upon which our rule of law is built”.

Mr Davies has previously said he would like to see “more people in prison”, especially women, who he says are treated more leniently than men by the courts.

In the same speech on Monday Mr Davies said the age limit for magistrates should be raised from 70 to 75, in line with the age limit for jurors, which was increased late last year.

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