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Attorney General to investigate 'lenient' Baby P sentences

PUBLISHED: 17:02 27 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:13 07 September 2010

Charlotte Newton THE Attorney General is to look at whether the sentences handed to Baby P's mother, her boyfriend and their lodger were unduly lenient , it was confirmed today. Baroness Patricia Scotland QC will examine whether the sentences should be

Charlotte Newton

THE Attorney General is to look at whether the sentences handed to Baby P's mother, her boyfriend and their lodger were "unduly lenient", it was confirmed today.

Baroness Patricia Scotland QC will examine whether the sentences should be reviewed by the Court of Appeal.

At the Old Bailey last Friday, Baby P's mother was sentenced to 10 years in prison for causing or allowing his death, with a requirement that she must serve five before she can be considered for parole.

Her 32-year-old boyfriend was given a 12-year sentence for causing or allowing the death of Baby P - now known as Peter; and a 20-year life sentence for raping a two-year-old girl.

He must serve 10 years in jail before he can be considered for parole.

The couple's lodger, Jason Owen, 37, of Bromley, Kent, was told he must serve at least three years for causing or allowing Peter's death.

Judge Stephen Kramer QC gave all three defendants indeterminate sentences which means the parole board must be convinced they no longer pose a risk to the public - and children in particular - before they can be released.

A spokesman for the Attorney General's Office said: "We have called for the papers in this case since the Attorney General has the power to refer certain sentences to the Court of Appeal for review if, after looking at all the facts, she thinks the sentence was unduly lenient.

"Within this power, the Attorney General can look at minimum tariffs imposed on life and indeterminate sentence prisoners.

"However, it is important to understand that such prisoners are not released automatically after the minimum term has been served - they are only released when the independent Parole Board is satisfied that their continued detention is no longer necessary to protect the public."

Judge Kramer said any decent person who heard the catalogue of medical conditions and non accidental injuries suffered by Peter "cannot fail to have been appalled".

He later told the defendants: "Your alleged ignorance of what was happening in that small house defies belief."

For the full story on the sentencing see tomorrow's Ham&High.


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