HC Deb 17 December 1996 vol 287 c754
Q3. Mr. Hinchliffe

To ask the Prime Minister when he intends to pay an official visit to Wakefield. [7883]

The Prime Minister

I have no plans to do so.

Mr. Hinchliffe

Has the Prime Minister had the opportunity to study the correspondence that I sent him last week concerning my constituent, Mr. Wayne Hood of Wakefield, who was recently sent to prison for four years for the attempted murder of his former foster parent who seriously sexually abused him over a seven-year period during his childhood and adolescence? Bearing in mind the fact that the foster parent has been gaoled for seven years for those serious offences against Mr. Hood and other children in his care, will the Prime Minister support the call for a review of Mr. Hood's sentence? While I do not condone Mr. Hood's actions, has he not been treated very harshly by the courts in view of his background and circumstances?

The Prime Minister

I have seen the correspondence that the hon. Gentleman sent to me, and I am grateful to him for giving me notice of his question. I am aware of the hon. Gentleman's deep interest and concern about this case. I made inquiries, and I understand that an application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal has been lodged. The hon. Gentleman will know that, in those circumstances, it is not appropriate for me to say anything further now. I believe that that is the correct way to pursue the matter. If the hon. Gentleman wishes to discuss it with me privately, I will be happy to see him.

Mr. Robert G. Hughes

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the people of Wakefield would not want us to leave this year without congratulating Damon Hill on winning the sports personality of the year award? Would not they be amazed to know that he achieved that without an audience participation unit?

The Prime Minister

I should like to congratulate Damon Hill on his success. The whole country took a great deal of pleasure in his many wins throughout the year. He is a very deserving winner of that poll. In the spirit of amity at Christmas, I shall not respond to the latter part of my hon. Friend's question.