Life means life ruling welcomed by Redditch MP

Killers Mark Bridger and Rosemary West both have whole life sentences. SP

Killers Mark Bridger and Rosemary West both have whole life sentences. SP

First published in Local

REDDITCH MP Karen Lumley has welcomed a ruling by Court of Appeal judges that life can mean life for the very worst criminals, which comes after a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decision which declared the sentences unlawful.

Delivering the ruling, Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas said judges could continue to give whole life sentences for the "most heinous" crimes.

In July, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that whole-life sentences were unlawful because there was no prospect of review.

Mrs Lumley said: "This decision is a victory for common sense. What the ECHR was saying was that a judge could no longer tell the most appalling criminals that they would never be released.

"Whilst whole life sentences are obviously a rarity they should remain as an option open to judges. Today's judgment gives the clarity our judges need when they are considering sentencing.

"This was also further evidence of why the power of European courts should be curbed. The Court’s decision in this case strayed from its proper purpose into a matter that should sit with the UK Parliament. This decision rightly upholds British law."

She added that in the future, the ECHR’s involvement in British domestic matters should be, at the very least, limited.

Among those in this country who currently have whole life sentences are Mark Bridger, who kidnapped and murdered five-year-old April Jones, before disposing of her body, and Rosemary West, who collaborated with her husband Fred to murder at least 10 young women.

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