An MSP has praised the Evening Telegraph’s petition calling for tougher sentencing guidelines for sexual offences against children.
Shona Robison, MSP for Dundee East, threw her weight behind the Tele as she welcomed news the Scottish Sentencing Council is to develop its sentencing guidelines on sexual offences.
It will focus on particular offences instead of developing a single framework covering all offences.
The Tele petition calling for mandatory jail terms for those convicted of sexual offences against children has smashed the 7,500 barrier. Ms Robison said: “I welcome the announcement by the Scottish Sentencing Council to prioritise the development of sentencing guidelines on sexual offences.
“As I have said previously, the best way forward is to establish guidelines that help deliver consistency in sentencing, that deliver justice and that better protect victims, as well as ensuring that we protect the independence of the judiciary.
“Having recently brought this issue up with the justice secretary, it is heartening the Lord Justice Clerk Lady Dorrian has said, having listened carefully to the views expressed by the public, judiciary, victim support organisations, the Scottish Parliament and others, that it has decided to develop multiple guidelines focusing on particular sexual offences and to produce these as quickly as possible.
“The Evening Telegraph is to be congratulated for its petition calling for changes to the sentencing guidelines, which has helped to shine a light on this important and emotive issue.”
The petition has gained traction online as well as on the streets as readers and the general public back the Tele’s campaign Our Kids Need Justice.
Tele editor Dave Lord said: “Shona’s praise is welcome and can only serve to heighten the profile of this important campaign.”