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Tougher sentencing planned by Dartford MP

A bill on unduly lenient sentences is being presented to the House of Commons this month by Dartford’s MP.

Under current UK criminal procedure, defence teams can appeal any sentence given at the Magistrates Court or Youth Court that they feel has been too tough - but the prosecution cannot appeal at all against sentences they feel are too lenient.

Gareth Johnson MP is bringing the Private Member’s Bill to the Commons on January 22.

He said: "It’s not right that the defence can appeal in almost any situation, but the prosecution can only appeal in the most serious instances of robbery, rape and murder.

"I want to see more checks and balances for the prosecution."

A person sentenced in Crown Court for a handful of sexual offences, serious assault, burglary or dangerous driving cannot currently be subject to a prosecution appeal.

Mr Johnson worked in criminal justice for over 20 years before going into politics and said: "I’ve been aware that this has been a problem for some time now, we have a system which inherently favours the rights of the offender over the rights of the victim.

"I hope that this bill will be a start to changing the system for the better."

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