Police killers to face whole-life jail terms

The Northern Echo: Pc Fiona Bone (left) and Pc Nicola Hughes who were killed in the line of duty Pc Fiona Bone (left) and Pc Nicola Hughes who were killed in the line of duty

CRIMINALS who kill police or prison officers in the course of duty are to face whole-life jail sentences.

Changes to the law by the Ministry of Justice will mean judges will start by considering a whole-life tariff when deciding the sentence for killing either a police or prison officer in the course of their duty, up from the current starting point of a 30-year minimum term

Judges would retain the discretion to determine the appropriate sentence in each case - a whole life term will not be mandatory.

There have been 13 direct killings of police officers in the course of duty since 2000 - including the murder of Pcs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes by one-eyed Dale Cregan in Greater Manchester, who was handed a whole-life tariff.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: "Police officers play a vital role in keeping communities safe. As has been tragically demonstrated in recent years, this role is a dangerous one which can lead to officers paying the ultimate price while serving their community.

"On a daily basis, prison officers are also asked to protect the public by dealing with violent offenders and standing in the way of criminals in order to keep the peace.

"It is essential that police and prison officers feel the full weight of the state is behind them as they fulfil their crucial duties. Changing the starting point for this offence sends a clear message that the Government supports the work that these vital public servants play."

The measure is being introduced by an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, which is currently going through Parliament.

Most recently, PC Andrew Duncan, 47, was hit by a car in Sutton, south London, while checking vehicle speeds in September.

Gary Cody admitted causing death by dangerous driving and was jailed for eight and a half years.

Other measures in the Bill include making criminals contribute towards costs of running the courts by imposing a new charge at point of conviction.

The Bill will also introduce a new offence with a punishment of up to two years in prison for criminals who go on the run while serving the non-custodial element of their sentence.

Other changes will bring an end to the automatic half-way point release for criminals convicted of rape or attempted rape of a child, or serious terrorism offences.

mfl

Comments (7)

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3:38pm Thu 8 May 14

truggggg says...

Whilst I agree with whole life sentences for killers of police and prison officers- the question I am asking is , why are there lives more important than, say, a bus driver or a doctor, a social worker or a builder, a nurse or a teacher.
Allmurderers should spend the rest of their lives behind bars
Whilst I agree with whole life sentences for killers of police and prison officers- the question I am asking is , why are there lives more important than, say, a bus driver or a doctor, a social worker or a builder, a nurse or a teacher. Allmurderers should spend the rest of their lives behind bars truggggg
  • Score: 11

3:40pm Thu 8 May 14

David Lacey says...

I favour the death sentence and I am not alone.
I favour the death sentence and I am not alone. David Lacey
  • Score: 9

3:45pm Thu 8 May 14

dm1970 says...

Shouldn't every killer get life?
Shouldn't every killer get life? dm1970
  • Score: 14

4:51pm Thu 8 May 14

snudge says...

What makes the police so special?
What makes the police so special? snudge
  • Score: 1

5:02pm Thu 8 May 14

behonest says...

So 11 year-olds Holly and Jessica are abducted, raped, murdered and burnt, but Ian Huntley does not have to receive a whole life sentence. But an armed robber kills an armed cop and he probably does? Sorry, but I disagree with this.
So 11 year-olds Holly and Jessica are abducted, raped, murdered and burnt, but Ian Huntley does not have to receive a whole life sentence. But an armed robber kills an armed cop and he probably does? Sorry, but I disagree with this. behonest
  • Score: 3

11:00pm Thu 8 May 14

mallymole says...

why should there be a difference for any body who kills someone in a jail term no matter what job they do even if they do not work, as soon as the system breaks down as we have seen in the papers,the govt;up the anti & back those who work for the state but not joe public,;
why should there be a difference for any body who kills someone in a jail term no matter what job they do even if they do not work, as soon as the system breaks down as we have seen in the papers,the govt;up the anti & back those who work for the state but not joe public,; mallymole
  • Score: 0

11:12pm Thu 8 May 14

mallymole says...

isit not the govt; who lets these people in & out of jail,open or other wise,what is the difference between a life sentence & a whole life sentence ,if life is what it means then why are they roaming around in open prisons & let out back outside to do what they have done in the past, we need a real shake up of prison life;
isit not the govt; who lets these people in & out of jail,open or other wise,what is the difference between a life sentence & a whole life sentence ,if life is what it means then why are they roaming around in open prisons & let out back outside to do what they have done in the past, we need a real shake up of prison life; mallymole
  • Score: 2

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