On Tuesday, the King announced that convicts will be forced to face their victims and attend their sentencing hearings. I welcome this change.
I first called for a change in this law eight years ago when Colin Ash-Smith, who brutally murdered 16-year-old Claire Tiltman in Greenhithe, refused to appear at his sentencing hearing. I reiterated this when baby-killer, Lucy Letby, refused to appear in court for sentencing earlier this year.
In both cases, this failure to attend their sentencing hearings was the final insult to the families of the victims.
I am pleased the Government has committed to bringing this important change into law so that offenders will be forced to face their victims and hear the longstanding impact of their crimes.