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Dartford MP Gareth Johnson's Unduly Lenient Sentences Bill would help prosecutors appeal short prison terms
COURTS are inherently favouring the rights of offenders over the rights of victims, according to Dartford’s MP.
Gareth Johnson is to present a bill to Parliament aimed at giving prosecutors more of a chance to appeal against sentences they feel are too short.
Under current UK criminal procedure, defence teams can appeal any sentence they think too harsh which is imposed in a youth or magistrates court or by leave of a judge in crown court.
Conversely, the prosecution cannot appeal against unduly lenient sentences imposed in magistrates' or youth courts and only for a handful of the most serious offences where sentencing takes place in crown court.
The Unduly Lenient Sentences (Right of Appeal) Bill would extend the number of cases in which prosecutors could appeal to lengthen prison terms.
Mr Johnson said: "My bill is designed to balance the scales and ensure that sentencing can be challenged for both victims and offenders.
"The current system allows the courts to be as lenient as they like without redress."
The private member’s bill is being presented to the House of Commons on January 22.