So much for equality! Giving women softer prison sentences than men makes a mockery of our justice system, says Phillip Davies

So much for equality! Giving women softer prison sentences than men makes a mockery of our justice system, says Phillip Davies
Philip Davies

By Philip Davies

Published: 18/04/2024

- 16:24

Conservative MP Phillip Davies says he's stunned magistrates and judges are actively encouraged to treat people differently

I recently highlighted the Sentencing Council’s ludicrous decision to encourage magistrates and judges to consider treating people more leniently just because they were poor or had experienced any of a whole host of other examples of what they termed a “difficult and/or deprived background”.

The Sentencing Council have also now proposed further changes to the guideline that is used when sentencers are considering the imposition of a community or custodial sentence. In this they say that a pre-sentence report may be particularly relevant where the offender is female, transgender or from an ethnic minority background.

I cannot believe that they are actively encouraging people to be treated differently – something which you would think would fly in the face of so-called equality legislation.

This politically correct interference in our judicial system is simply not acceptable. Magistrates and judges should surely be looking at the individual facts of each case and not being forced to effectively discriminate on the basis of sex and ethnicity and the like. They have, after all, sworn an oath to act without fear or favour, affection or ill will and I cannot see how this proposed guideline enables them to fulfil that oath.

There is a very vocal lobby arguing for fewer people to be sent to prison – in particular fewer women – and they bandy around various cherry-picked statistics to support them in this mission. It is one thing for them to do this but quite another for a body responsible in a judicial context to get on board with this nonsense too.

Being the sole or primary carer for dependant relatives – in many cases children – is already a potential get out of jail free card for many women but now just being female is being cited as enough reason to be treated differently. This is outrageous.

The proposed new guideline says that “female offenders offend for different reasons than men and the impact of custodial sentences on female offenders is different”. In order to justify why women should get special treatment they say that female offending is, amongst other things, commonly linked to substance misuse or financial and homelessness issues.

From answers to Parliamentary Questions I have tabled in the past we know that these same factors are present when it comes to male prisoners but this is something the Sentencing Council has so far spectacularly failed to mention here - or possibly even consider at all.

In fact the figures I have obtained show that the proportion of men and women in prison who were recorded as having substance misuse issues was 56 per cent and 64 per cent respectively. When it comes to homelessness many men are also affected and men were actually slightly more likely than women to have financial issues despite this being specifically mentioned in the new guideline as something that affects women!

I do not believe that any of these factors should even be relevant when it comes to sentencing but certainly these comparable official statistics showing that both men and women are affected are not helpful facts for those pushing this unequal agenda.

This all begs the question - why on earth would the Sentencing Council come up with this nonsense in the first place?

Unfortunately, this is a sign of the times. It is happening everywhere. Yet it cannot be allowed to continue unchallenged - especially when it comes to the law where evidence and facts should be key.

The vast majority of British people will think this is bunkum and it is about time the Sentencing Council took more note of their opinions – rather than listen to the loud noise of lefty, politically correct, do-gooding organisations banging their various drums.

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