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PCC appeals unduly lenient sentence

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Matthew Barber, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, has today written to the Attorney General requesting that the Court of Appeal look again at the sentencing of an attacker who stabbed a 15 year old boy in High Wycombe.

The attack took place in October of last year following a Halloween party. The teenage victim was left with life-changing injuries after being stabbed three times. At South Tyneside Youth Court earlier this month a 15 year old boy, who cannot be named, was given a one year community order and the victim awarded just £500 in compensation.

Matthew Barber said: “This was a shocking attack that has consequences that will be felt for many years. Thames Valley Police managed a complex investigation and worked hard to bring the offender to justice.

“As Police and Crime Commissioner I have a duty to stand up for victims of crime, and in this case I strongly feel that the boy who was subject to this vicious attack has been let down.

“The decision to request the Attorney General to refer the case to the Court of Appeal is not one that I take lightly. Judicial independence is a vital part of our justice system, but the appeal process exists to allow errors to be corrected.

“Over the last year I have insisted that Thames Valley Police take a tougher approach to dealing with knife crime. Through Operation Deter we are seeing more offenders being brought to justice and in many cases appropriate sentences being handed out by the courts. Working with partners through our Violence Reduction Unit real progress has been made and I praise the police for their energy and determination in seeking to tackle the problem.

“Nevertheless cases such as this not only let down victims in individual cases but risk calling into question the effectiveness of our criminal justice system more widely.”

The Attorney General has until 8th June to decide whether to refer the case to the Court of Appeal.