DIRTY DOZEN charged with crimes including rape after being released early

By Bill Heaney

New figures reveal that 12 prisoners who were sentenced to life imprisonment were charged with serious crimes, including rape, after being released early.

A Scottish Conservatives Freedom of Information request also found that domestic abuse and possession of a dangerous weapon were among charges brought against a dozen ‘lifers’ in 2021/22.

Shadow justice secretary Russell Findlay said the figures would concern the public and provide further evidence of the SNP’s weak approach to criminal justice.  

Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary Russell Findlay MSP, pictured right, said: “It is completely unacceptable that a dozen life prisoners have gone on to be charged with such horrific offences after their release.

“Life sentences are only imposed for the most heinous of crimes and it is imperative that those serving them are not released prematurely. This data confirms that doing so often can result in further serious crimes being committed.

“For the past 16 years the SNP has presided over a deliberate weakening of Scotland’s criminal justice system resulting in the rights of criminals being prioritised – and this is further evidence of that dangerous agenda.

“Whether it’s diversion from prosecution for alleged rapists, soft sentences for under-25s or the policy of early release, the SNP continue to make Scotland’s streets less safe.”

The Parole Board confirmed a life prisoner was recalled to prison following his release due to being charged with rape.  The Parole Board confirmed one of the charges that was brought against a recalled life prisoner in 2021-22 was ‘rape’ along with ‘sexual assault’ and ‘assault with intent to rape’. (Freedom of information request, 20 July 2023, attached).

Other charges for recalled life prisoners included domestic abuse and possession of a bladed or pointed weapon. The Parole Board also confirmed one of the other charges was under section 1 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2018, whilst another related to section 49 of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1995. There were nine other criminal proceedings for recalled life prisoners, mainly related to drugs offences or for threatening or abusive behaviour. (Freedom of information request, 20 July 2023, attached).

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