Horrific Everard murder shows need for Whole Life Sentences

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Recent horrific crimes, including the murder of Sarah Everard, shows the need for Scotland’s judges to have the power to impose whole life sentences as soon as possible.

George Metcalff, who was convicted of the horrific murder of Patricia Henry at her flat in South Ayrshire, will not receive a whole life sentence next month because such a punishment is not possible in Scotland.

The call from Scottish Conservative Community Safety spokesman Russell Findlay comes after Sarah Everard’s killer was issued with a whole life order in England.

However, judges in Scotland do not currently have the power to impose whole life sentences on the worst criminals.

Scottish Conservative MSP Liam Kerr had sought cross-party support for whole life sentences with a Private Members Bill in the last Scottish Parliament, which was backed by almost 80 per cent of respondents.

Scottish Conservative Shadow Community Safety Minister Russell Findlay MSP said: “It is entirely right for a judge to have the power to impose a whole life sentence on the police officer who murdered Sarah Everard, meaning that he will never be released.

“If a similar crime occurred in Scotland, a judge would not be allowed to make the same decision.

“Life really should mean life for Scotland’s most dangerous criminals. Our proposals would ensure judges could guarantee victims, and wider society, that they would stay locked up.

“Other parties previously rejected this Scottish Conservative proposals but I hope they will now re-think their opposition and work with me to introduce this crucial sentencing option as a matter of urgency.

“All too often the SNP let down victims and put the interest of criminals first. The Scottish Conservatives will continue to push for whole life sentences to be imposed to ensure the worst offenders feel the full force of the law.”

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