JOANNA Simpson’s claw hammer killer could have faced longer behind bars under sentencing changes announced today.
Excessive violence and a history of domestic abuse will now count as “aggravating factors” in deciding punishment.
And abusive partners or exes who attempt to control their partners may face a new starting sentence of 25 years behind bars.
Two women a week are killed by a current or former partner in England and Wales.
Joanna’s family are campaigning to keep Robert Brown, who has served just half his sentence, in prison after he beat his estranged wife to death in 2010.
Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said: “This Government will do everything it can to protect vulnerable women.
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“The changes I am announcing today will mean longer jail sentences for those who kill women in the home, by taking greater account of the specific factors involved, whether it is controlling and coercive behaviour or cases involving particular savagery known as ‘overkill.”
Shadow Justice minister Ellie Reeves welcomed the tougher crackdown, but said the record under the Tories was “failing to protect domestic abuse survivors”.
She said: “With a record courts backlog, prosecution rates for domestic abuse have halved whilst reports have more than doubled since 2015.
“Vulnerable women don’t need more dither and delay – they need action.”
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Last night Tory MP Laura Farris, who has been campaigning for ministers to change the law, said the decision “will lead to much heftier sentences when perpetrators have shown blatant disregard for their victims lives.”
She added: “We won’t stop violence against women overnight. But this is one more step along of the way, by treating these crimes with the seriousness that they deserve.”
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