Criminals sentenced to lengthy prison sentences should serve the full tariff, says the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner.
Mark Burns-Williamson said life should mean life for people such as Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe.
Mr Burns-Williamson was speaking on the day Court of Appeal judges heard bids by two killers to challenge whole-life sentences, meaning they must spend the rest of their days behind bars.
The legal challenges followed a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that such sentences were a breach of human rights, in a successful appeal by three murderers, including Jeremy Bamber. The ruling claimed the whole-life terms amounted to “inhuman and degrading treatment”, and stated that whole lifers should be entitled to a review of their sentence after no more than 25 years.
The Government has maintained that whole-life tariffs are “wholly justified in the most heinous cases.”
Shipley Conservative MP Philip Davies (pictured above right) urged the Government to tell judges not to be influenced by Europe after a three-times killer escaped a whole-life sentence because it would be against his human rights.
Mr Davies said it was an insult that human rights could be cited in the case of a killer who had taken three lives.
Yesterday, Mr Burns-Willaimson said that for criminals such as Sutcliffe “life should definitely mean life.”
He said there should be no prospect of someone committing a crime of that nature ever being back on the streets.
Mr Burns-Williamson added: “Gener-ally speaking, people who are sentenced to prison terms of a certain length should see those sentences out, with reviews perhaps at the end of the sentence, rather than midway through.”
He admitted that in some circumstances that would mean people dying in prison.
He went on: “I’ve spoken to a lot of police officers who have expressed frustration with sentencing. Generally, the police and the public would like to see sentencing meaning what it says.”
The five Appeal Court judges, sitting in London, were expected to reserve their decision in the cases of Lee Newell and Matthew Thomas