Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Austin: life must mean life for cop killer

Dudley MP Ian Austin has called for cop killer Harry Roberts to be kept behind bars.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Thursday, Austin demanded that the Home Secretary stick to her promise that “life should mean life for anyone convicted of killing a police officer”.
 
Roberts is set to walk free 48 years after being convicted for the brutal murder of three unarmed police officers.  At the time he narrowly escaped the death sentence and was told by a judge that he should never be released.
 
Austin has now written letters to Justice Secretary Chris Grayling calling on him to appeal the parole decision in the High Court, and to the Home Secretary Theresa May urging her to keep her promise and ensure that Roberts stays in prison.
 
He will also be asking the Home Affairs Select Committee of which he is a member to investigate the case next week.
 
Speaking in the House of Commons, Ian Austin said:
 
“People out there are absolutely furious at today’s news that the notorious police killer Harry Roberts is due to be released.
 
“The police are saying it’s a betrayal, the Home Secretary herself promised the country that life should mean life for anybody convicted of killing a police officer.
 
“I want to know what is the government going to do to make sure this evil criminal is kept behind bars where he belongs?”
 
William Hague, the Leader of the House of Commons, replied:
 
“Well there will be a great deal of sympathy with what the Honourable Member has just said.
 
“This is of course as I understand a decision by the parole board, but of course there will be concern about it and a great deal of public agreement with what he has said.
 
“I will certainly draw the Home Secretary’s attention to his raising of this and to the concern in the house about it.”

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