The UK government has announced plans to introduce tougher sentences for domestic abusers who kill their partner, following an independent review of domestic homicide sentencing by Clare Wade KC. The review found that the current sentencing system did not adequately capture the years of abuse leading up to many domestic homicides.
The changes will mean that a history of coercive or controlling behaviour against victims or the use of excessive or gratuitous violence will be considered as mitigating factors in sentencing decisions for murder, with a minimum sentence of 25 years where a weapon was brought into the home.
Campaigners have welcomed the changes but called for a higher starting point.
The UK government has proposed reforms to introduce tougher sentences for domestic abusers who kill their partners.
The changes will update mitigating factors to include past behaviour against the victim, including coercive or controlling behaviour, or the use of excessive or gratuitous violence.
The government has said that it aims to ensure violent and controlling domestic offenders face longer jail terms, with judges weighing the importance of those factors in the sentencing decisions.
The minimum sentence for domestic homicide will be 25 years for cases in which a weapon was brought into the home.
Campaigners have called for a higher starting point, however.
Clare Wade KC, the criminal barrister who led the independent review, said she is disappointed her report had not been adopted in full.
The review recognised that many domestic homicides are preceded by years of abuse.
The changes have been welcomed by the family members of victims but welcomed to see how they will be applied in practice.