Whole life sentences without parole to be applied retrospectively

Prison officer
Prison officer

Murderers who carry out sexually motivated attacks will automatically face a whole life sentence even if they were charged before the new law is introduced.

Rishi Sunak will announce on Tuesday that orders for whole life sentences without parole will be applied retrospectively to anyone who was charged with such an offence before the law came in but is yet to be convicted.

In August the Prime Minister announced a new expectation on judges to hand down whole life orders where they can apply, other than in exceptional cases, and extended their application to include those who commit murder with sexual or sadistic conduct.

Tuesday’s announcement means these changes will apply not just to offenders who commit their crime after the legislation kicks in, but to all offenders of those crimes that have been committed but not yet sentenced after this change.

Mr Sunak said: “The public rightly believe that the most despicable killers should face life behind bars. That’s why we are ensuring life means life for the most serious cases without the chance of parole.

“Today, we are announcing that we will extend whole life orders to those who have committed the crime but have not yet been sentenced so that more of the most vicious criminals face the punishment they deserve with no hope of ever walking free.”

Jade’s law

Alex Chalk, the Justice Secretary, will also announce new powers to suspend parental responsibility from any parent who kills their partner.

It will mean that any killer will be barred from having any influence over the lives of the children they had with their murdered partner while in jail and on licence after their release.

It will be known as Jade’s law in memory of Jade Ward who was stabbed and strangled by her partner Russell Marsh as their children were sleeping in 2021.

Despite being sent to prison, Marsh has still attempted to control his children from behind bars. He retains rights to request school reports and medical details of his children and could even block them getting therapy and travelling abroad despite being found guilty of murdering their mother.

Mr Chalk said: “Murderers who kill their partners should not be able to manipulate and control their children from behind bars, which is why we are fixing the law to protect families from this appalling behaviour.”