New draft law calls for child abusers to be imprisoned for life
Child abusers will be imprisoned for life under a new draft law brought in by Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat.
The move was sparked by the case of a baby called Tony, who was tortured so violently by his birth parents he had to have both his legs amputated.
Despite a litany of injuries to the tiny boy, and the fact they left him untreated and in agony for 10 days, the maximum sentence was only 10 years imprisonment.
Mr Tugendhat (Tonbridge and Malling) has now brought Tony’s Law to Parliament in a 10-Minute Rule Bill on Child Cruelty (Sentences).
He said: “Shortly after Tony Hudgell was born he was attacked by his biological parents, who broke his fingers and his toes, they tore the ligaments in his legs.
“They caused such terrible damage that both his legs had to be amputated and Tony is now wheelchair-bound.
“Tony was only admitted to hospital 10 days after these injuries were inflicted and we can only imagine how much pain he suffered in the first weeks of his life.”
Tony, now a toddler, was in the public gallery with his adoptive parents Paula and Mark watching as Mr Tugendhat explained his case was not an isolated instance and the number of child abuse reports has doubled in the last five years.
“Tony’s case is extreme but sadly it is not unique,” he said.
“Last December the NSPCC said almost 17,000 cases of child cruelty or neglect were reported to the police in the last five years… Double the number reported in the previous five years.
“Carers and parents who harm the children they are responsible for are betraying a trust and undermining our society.
“It is a wrong we all know cries out for justice.”
Mr Tugendhat (pictured) said he wanted to extend the length of sentences available for judges in prosecutions under two Acts, the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 and the Children and Young Persons Act 1933.
The Bill passed unopposed and its second reading has been set for Friday March 15, although it is unlikely to be heard on that date.
Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Victoria Jones / PA Wire.