Rachel has been successful in her campaign to secure tougher sentences for domestic abusers who kill their partners or ex-partners.
Under new Government plans, The law will be changed so a history of coercive or controlling behaviour against the victim or the use of excessive or gratuitous violence are made aggravating factors in sentencing decisions for murder.
It means these violent and controlling criminals will face more time behind bars, as judges must consider longer jail terms for their abuse and aggression.
The changes follow recommendations made by Clare Wade KC in an independent review into domestic homicide sentencing, which the government will respond to in full in the summer. Her review found the current sentencing framework does not adequately reflect that many domestic homicides are preceded by years of abuse.
Rachel has been campaigning for tougher sentences for domestic abusers who kill their partners or ex-partners.
Earlier this year she held a debate in Parliament where she called on the Government to introduce tougher punishments. It followed a meeting Rachel had with campaigners Julie Devey and Carole Gould whose daughters were murdered by their violent and abusive ex-partners.
“I’ve long been campaigning for tougher sentences for women murdered by their partners in the home - motivated by many of the families who have lost daughters, mothers and sisters to violence.
“I’m very pleased the Government has listened to me and many others who joined that campaign. I warmly welcome this progress which is a real change and will mean justice is done in more cases.
“These tougher sentences will ensure violent criminals face the full force of the law and victims are protected.
“As a Government we are committed to tackling violence against women and girls and cracking down on the awful crime of domestic abuse. Only the Conservatives are on the side of the law-abiding public. Labour has time and time again voted against tougher sentences - including for sex offenders and paedophiles.”
The Government has also asked the Sentencing Council to review the manslaughter sentencing guidelines to explain to judges that cases where deaths occur during rough sex should be punished with longer jail terms. While the law is clear that there is no such thing as a “rough sex defence”, the review found that the high risk of death these acts may carry should be reflected in sentences potentially several years longer.
A public consultation will also be launched to determine whether a higher sentencing starting point of 25 years should be applied in murder cases where there has been a history of controlling and coercive abuse. Currently, the 25-year starting point only applies to murders where a knife has been taken to the scene with intent.
Together these measures build on the Government’s zero-tolerance approach to violence against women and girls by ensuring that sentencing in cases of domestic homicide deliver justice for the victims and families.