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Maximum sentence for allowing or causing death or harm of a child or vulnerable adult to increase

The maximum sentence for those convicted of causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable adult will be increased from 14 years to life in prison, it has been announced.

The new legislation has been named after Tony Hudgell, a baby who was left disabled after suffering abuse at the hands of his birth parents.

Tony’s parents both received 10 years in prison, but campaigners argued that the punishment did not fit the severity of the crime.

It has now been confirmed, however, that “Tony’s Law” will increase the maximum sentence for those convicted of allowing or causing death or injury of a child.

Under the new rules, the maximum penalty for anyone who causes or allows the death of a child or vulnerable adult in their care will face up to life imprisonment, up from the current 14-year maximum.

Likewise, those convicted of causing or allowing serious physical harm to a child, or cruelty to a person under 16, will face up to 14 years in prison, up from the current 10-year maximum.

Commenting on the new laws, Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Dominic Raab, said: “The law must provide maximum protection to the most vulnerable and no-one is more vulnerable than a young child.”

The move comes after the Government announced plans to extend mandatory life sentences to anyone who kills an emergency worker – such as a police officer, paramedic, or firefighter – whilst committing a crime, as well as double the maximum penalty for assaulting an emergency worker to two years’ imprisonment.

Have you been accused of committing a crime? We help clients through all stages of the criminal justice process. For advice and representation, get in touch with our expert team today.

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