17 Jun 2009

Three strikes bill could be tougher, committee told

9:29 pm on 17 June 2009

The three strikes sentencing bill does not go far enough, according to victim support groups and the Sensible Sentencing Trust.

The legislation would allow for criminals convicted of a third violent or sexual offence to be sent to prison for life with a minimum non-parole period of 25 years.

Wendy Pedler from the Red Raincoat Trust, a victim support group, says parole should apply only to first offences.

Ms Pedler told MPs on Parliament's Law and Order Select Committee on Wednesday that if they really cared about victims, parole hearings should be abolished.

Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesperson Garth McVicar told the select committee the bill needed to be tougher

Mr McVicar said that, under the bill, an offender would qualify for a strike if he or she got a prison sentence of five years or more, life imprisonment or preventive detention for a specified serious violent offence.

But he said that definition did not go far enough.