Soft judges who allow offenders to go on fresh crime sprees should be punished, says Menston and Burley-in-Wharfedale MP Philip Davies.
The Conservative MP demanded “consequences” for judges who fail to send serious criminals to prison when a jail term is appropriate.
During a debate on a fresh crime Bill, Mr Davies did not set out exactly how judges should be made more accountable for their decisions.
But he told ministers: “There should be consequences for a judge who consistently allows offenders to avoid prison, if those offenders go on to make others suffer as a result of their continuing crime sprees.
“At the very least there should be some assessment of their ability to perform their role.”
The call came as Mr Davies pressed for a series of measures to toughen up the legislation, including: l Prisoners on early release who are recalled to jail for breaching conditions to be forced to serve their entire original sentence – not just 28 days l An end to the “ludicrous position” where time spent on a tagged curfew is deducted from a sentence in the same way days spent on remand in prison l Magistrates to be allowed to sentence people to prison for up to 12 months for one offence – instead of the current six-month limit.
The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill creates a series of new offences, including fresh jail terms for prisoners who escape and go “on the run”.
Possession of pornography showing rape will be banned and automatic early release from prison for terrorists and child rapists will be scrapped.
Criminals who commit serious offences involving child pornography and supplying class A drugs will no longer escape with a simple caution under the reforms.
Criminals will be forced to pay part of the cost of their court case, while offenders will also pay to appeal against any court decisions if they then lose that appeal.
Mr Davies said: “Despite these omissions, the Bill can still be seen as a substantial step forward for the criminal justice system in this country.”