» Monday, February 19, 2007

Gun Crime

Asked for clarification about jailing over 18 year olds for five years, the PMOS explained in terms of the legislation, it was introduced in January 2004 through the Criminal Justice Act 2003. The Act stated that unless there were exceptional circumstances, courts must impose a minimum sentence of three years for 16 to 17 year olds or five years for 18-plus year olds. However, the Court of Appeal judged in the Campbell case that the minimum sentence of five years in prison could not be imposed on 18 to 20 year olds, since to do so it said would conflict with the Powers of Criminal Court Act 2000. We were looking at that judgement, because the Prime Minister and the police’s view was that we did need to be able to apply the penalty to those in that bracket. That would be part of the consideration given at the Gun Summit, which the Prime Minister referred to yesterday and which would take place in the next few weeks.

Put that was this not basically an admission that the 2003 Act was "really badly drafted", as the Acts conflicted with earlier legislation, the PMOS replied that the only time that people could reach the sort of judgement was whenever we had finished the process of review. The PMOS said that if he commented on it, he would be getting ahead of it, therefore, what was important was that whatever we needed to do, we would do to allow the law to be applied as it was originally intended.

Put that last year, Lord Bassam told the Lords that there was a problem with the law, and that the same problem still existed, as there was a real conflict between two pieces of legislation, the PMOS said that that was why the Prime Minister had said before the recent events that he had asked the Home Secretary and the police to look at this issue.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Search for related news

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