§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases, similar to those which occurred in the week ended Saturday 23 January, when on two occasions parents were robbed under a threat by the thugs concerned that their children would be slashed unless they handed over their possessions, have been reported for any period; and whether he will introduce legislation to provide for compulsory life imprisonment for any person found guilty of such an offence.
§ Mr. Mayhew
The information requested is not readily available; the data collected centrally on offences of robbery recorded by the police do not identify such circumstances of the offences. The maximum penalty for robbery is life imprisonment. We think it right that the courts should retain discretion to pass a sentence which is appropriate to all the facts of a particular case.