Ken Clarke's Proposed Sentence Reduction to be Abandoned...

Controversial new plans for a 50% reduction on sentences are to be scrapped.

The Justice Secretary, Ken Clarke, who recently hit headlines for apparently suggesting there were different categories of seriousness for rapes, had planned to offer 50% sentence cuts in return for an early guilty plea.

Under these sentencing proposals, this effectively meant that for an offence such as robbery or burglary that may initially attract a 4 year custodial sentence could be reduced to that of 2 years once the offender had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.  Under existing legislation the offender would then serve half of this sentence and could be released early on Home Detention Curfew or ‘tag’ bringing the custodial element down to under 12 months.

It appears however that David Cameron has raised concerns and has rejected the plans on the basis that he wants ‘tougher sentences for serious crimes…’. The idea was part of a package that would seek to save the Ministry of Justice in the region of £130m.

The difficulty with such suggestions is that there are individuals who may feel tempted to enter such pleas when perhaps they have a defence and ought to take the matter to trial.