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People who murder ex-partners could face longer sentences

Today ( 20 July 2023 ) a proposal was announced seeking to lengthen the prison sentences for abusers who kill their ex-partners by creating a new aggravating factor for murder.


Clare Wade KC published an independent review of domestic homicide sentencing that found that sentencing does not take into account that a number of domestic murders takes place after years of abuse.


In addition there will also be additional protection for women who kill abusers, with a new mitigating factor for cases where the perpetrator has been subjected to controlling behaviour.


The government announced that it is seeking to increase the minimum sentence for murders that took place within a home setting where a weapon was found at the scene. At the moment, when a killer uses a weapon found in the home, the sentencing tariff is 15 years, in contract to when a victim is murdered in a park with a weapon brought from elsewhere, the tariff is 25 years.


The government has also asked the Law commission to review the use of defences in domestic homicide cases to see if there is recognition for victims of domestic abuse when acting in self-defence. Previously there was an announcement that there will be a public consultation on making a history of abusive, coercive or controlling behaviour or use of excessive violence, aggravating factors in sentencing decisions for murder.

Lord chancellor and justice secretary, Alex Chalk KC said: Cowards who murder their partners should face the full force of the law.


I personally welcome this news, as a member of our very own fencing community was killed by her jealous ex-boyfriend Trimaan Dhillon. Alice Ruggles was found in the shower at her home on October the 12th, 2016. Her life was taken by her ex-boyfriend after he camped outside her flat in Gateshead after repeatedly stalking her. Alice complained twice to Northumbria Police that she was being stalked by Lance Corporal Trimaan Dhillon. Dhillon drove 120 miles from his barracks in Scotland to commit the murder, after he found out that Alice met someone else after their relationship broke down.


I know that family and friends affected by this type crime will never stop campaigning. We certainly won't stop campaigning for Alice. Each year the Alice Ruggles Memorial Open Fencing competition is hosted by the University of Leicester Fencing Club where we remember and educate.


If you have been affected by this article, please seek help. If you are in immediate danger please call 999



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