HC Deb 04 March 1982 vol 19 cc204-5W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why Ivor Jones, a convicted rapist serving a life sentence, was allowed out of prison and thus enabled to commit a further attack on a woman for which he was found guilty at Maidstone Crown court and sentenced for attempting to strangle with intent to rape and causing grievous bodily harm.

Mr. Mayhew

The Home Secretary may order the release of a prisoner serving a sentence of life imprisonment if he is recommended to do so by the parole board and after consulting the Lord Chief Justice and, if he is available, the trial judge. In November 1980, the parole board recommended that Mr. Jones should be released in 1981—when he would have been detained for 10 years—subject to the satifactory completion of six months on the pre-release employment scheme, which involves the prisoner living in a hostel attached to a prison but going out to work each day. After consultation with the Lord Chief Justice and the trial judge, my right hon. Friend decided to accept the parole board's recommendation and Mr. Jones was transferred to the pre-release hostel attached to Maidstone prison in April 1981. The further offences of which he was recently convicted were committed while he was on the pre-release employment scheme.

Miss Joan Lestor

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration he has given to the recommendations of the Criminal Law Revision Committee that rape inside marriage should be made a crime.

Mr. Mayhew

A proposal that the offence of rape should be extended to all cases where a man has sexual intercourse with his wife without her consent was among those on which the committee's working paper of October 1980 invited comments. We think it right to await the committee's final report before reaching a conclusion on this matter.