Justice Secretary Dominic Raab met with the family of Zara Aleena, whose killer was legally allowed not to attend his sentencing hearing, and said he hoped to ensure murderers face longer prison sentences if they opt to skip court in future.
Why it matters
The proposed legislation would ensure that murderers cannot hide from their sentencing hearings and would face longer prison sentences if they do. This would provide justice for victims and their families and ensure that murderers are held accountable for their actions.
What the papers say
All sources report on the proposed legislation and the meeting between Justice Secretary Dominic Raab and the family of Zara Aleena. The Independent provides more detail on the impact of the murder on the family, while BBC News and The Independent report on the killer's refusal to attend his sentencing hearing. The Independent also reports on the apology issued by the Ministry of Justice to Zara Aleena's family for the failings in the case.
How we got here
Zara Aleena, a 35-year-old aspiring lawyer, was sexually assaulted and killed by Jordan McSweeney in Ilford, east London, in June last year. McSweeney was handed a life sentence and jailed for at least 38 years after admitting to the crime. However, he was legally allowed not to attend his sentencing hearing, which was described by Zara Aleena's family as 'a slap in the face'. Justice Secretary Dominic Raab met with the family to discuss the proposed legislation to ensure that murderers cannot hide from their sentencing hearings and would face longer prison sentences if they do.
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