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Tom Tugendhat, MP for Tonbridge and Malling, to call for life sentences for parents guilty of child cruelty

An MP is set to propose life sentences as a punishment for parents who are convicted of child cruelty crimes.

Tom Tugendhat, MP for Tonbridge and Malling, will introduce proposals to increase maximum sentences for child abusers tomorrow in Parliament.

He is calling for an increase from 10 years to life imprisonment.

Mr Tugendhat is continuing to campaign hard on behalf of Paula Hudgell, whose son Tony hit the headlines in 2017 after he was left severely injured by birth parents Jody Simpson and Antony Smith.

Tony sustained life-changing injuries only weeks after his birth at their hands and they were jailed for 10 years each.

He endured broken bones and sustained pain over many days before he was taken to hospital, subsequently having both legs amputated.

In January this year, Tom presented a petition signed by 12,000 people country-wide calling for sentences for child cruelty to be increased from the current 10 years maximum sentence.

Paula Hudgell with Tony and MP Tom Tugendhat at parliament (6408471)
Paula Hudgell with Tony and MP Tom Tugendhat at parliament (6408471)

His 10-Minute Rule Motion, to be tabled tomorrow in the House of Commons, is the next step in the campaign to ensure that people who inflict cruelty on children are punished adequately.

Tom said: “People who inflict what amounts to torture on the most vulnerable and defenceless individuals in society must be punished with utmost severity.

"I am appalled at what happened to Tony, in awe of his resilience, and in admiration of Paula and her family who have shown unstinting love to him.

"I will keep working with Paula, Tony and the whole family to make sure abusers like those who hurt Tony serve sentences that truly reflect the crimes they have committed.”

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