Tony’s Law: Plans for tougher child abuse sentences confirmedon November 30, 2021 at 9:44 am

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

The adoptive family of Tony Hudgell, seven, have campaigned for harsher sentences for abusers.

Tony Hudgell

Image source, Paula Hudgell

Child abusers in England and Wales could face life in jail under tougher sentencing plans unveiled by ministers.

It follows a campaign for Tony’s Law by the adoptive family of seven-year-old Tony Hudgell, who had both legs amputated following abuse.

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said the legislation would provide “maximum protection to the most vulnerable”.

Tony’s adoptive mother Paula Hudgell, of King’s Hill, Kent, said she was “delighted” at the announcement.

Under the plans, the maximum jail sentence for those who cause or allow a child’s death will increase from 14 years to life imprisonment.

Sentences are also set to go up from 10 to 14 years for people who cause serious harm to children.

Tom Tugendhat, Tony and his mother Paula Hudgell with the Prime Minister’s Points of Light Award

Image source, Tom Tugendhat

Ms Hudgell said the planned tougher sentences, which would be added to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, were for “Tony and all the babies and children that suffered or lost their lives at the hands of their abusers”.

Tonbridge MP Tom Tugendhat said the Hudgells had demonstrated “what a real family can do is not only look after each other but actually make life better for all of us.”

He said: “It makes a very clear statement that [child abusers] will be treated as harshly as they would if they were abusing an adult who can give evidence.”

Tony’s birth parents were sentenced to the current maximum jail term of 10 years in February 2018.

He was attacked as a baby, his fingers and toes broken and ligaments in his legs torn.

He was left untreated and in agony for 10 days, with terrible damage that left him wheelchair-bound.

Jody Simpson and Tony Smith

Image source, Kent Police

Ms Hudgell said: “Tony is an inspiration every day, he never complains, he carries on no matter what is thrown at him – all the challenges, he just gets back up and carries on.”

Mr Raab paid tribute to the “courage of young Tony Hudgell and his adoptive parents, Paula and Mark”.

He said the changes were needed because “the law must provide maximum protection to the most vulnerable and no-one is more vulnerable than a young child”.

Presentational grey line

Follow BBC South East on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Instagram. Send your story ideas to southeasttoday@bbc.co.uk.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

- Advertisement -

Discover

Sponsor

Latest

Covid: What lessons should be learnt from UK response and job vacancies soaron October 12, 2021 at 4:36 pm

Five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Tuesday evening.Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic...

Alec Baldwin fatally shoots woman with prop gun on movie seton October 22, 2021 at 7:10 am

A man is also being treated in hospital after the firearm was discharged on set in New Mexico.Image source, Getty ImagesA woman has died...

Maddison scores twice as Leicester overcome Randerson February 24, 2022 at 7:46 pm

James Maddison scores two beauties as Leicester make light work of Danish side Randers with a 7-2 rout on aggregate to reach the last...

U.S. pork plant due to new coronavirus

CHICAGO, April 9 (Reuters) - Smithfield Foods Inc, the world's biggest pork processor, said on Thursday it is temporarily closing a plant in Sioux Falls, South...

Man City go seven points clear after win over Spurson February 13, 2021 at 7:47 pm

Manchester City strengthen their grip at the top of the Premier League table after beating Tottenham to open up a seven-point lead.Manchester City strengthen...