The attorney general Baroness Scotland is to review the sentences handed down in the Baby P case after receiving “several requests” from parties concerned they were too lenient.
Baroness Scotland will examine the case papers to see if it should be referred to the Court of Appeal. She has 28 days from the date of sentencing, 22 May, to make her decision.
Baby Peter’s mother was jailed indefinitely for causing or allowing his death, and was told she must serve five years. while her boyfriend was jailed for 12 years, along with a life sentence for raping a two-year-old girl. He must serve a minimum of 10 years. Her lodger, Jason Owens, was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection, but with a minimum term of three years.
Child protection campaigners slammed the sentences, with the NSPCC saying the trio could be free in “a few short years” and would still be young enough to start new lives and families when released.
Call for papers
A spokesperson for the attorney general’s office said today: “We have called for the papers in this case since the attorney general has the power to refer certain sentences to the Court of Appeal for review if, after looking at all the facts, she thinks the sentence was unduly lenient.
“Within this power, the attorney general can look at minimum tariffs imposed on life and indeterminate sentence prisoners. However, it is important to understand that such prisoners are not released automatically after the minimum term has been served – they are only released when the independent Parole Board is satisfied that their continued detention is no longer necessary to protect the public.”