§ Mr. Livingstone
To ask the Prime Minister what is the average length of a life sentence served in(a) England and (b)Northern Ireland.
§ The Prime Minister
The average time served under sentence in prison service establishments in England and Wales by those first released on licence from a life sentence in the three years 1985 to 1987 was about 104 years. A comparable figure for Northern Ireland is not readily available. The average time spent in custody, including on remand, by those first released from prison service establishments in Northern Ireland from a life sentence in the same three years was just over 11 years. These average figures do not take account of the longest periods being served by some of those given life sentences following abolition of capital punishment who have not yet been released.