Tougher penalties sought for sex attacks

The organising group in Blyth of (l-r) Gemma Greenway, Laura Rennie and Shane More who are petitioning to get tougher sentances for paedophiles.
The organising group in Blyth of (l-r) Gemma Greenway, Laura Rennie and Shane More who are petitioning to get tougher sentances for paedophiles.
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PARENTS in Blyth are campaigning for harsher sentences for paedophiles after a young girl was abused in the town.

A trio of parents have organised a campaign calling on the courts to hand out tougher penalties on convicted attackers.

They are looking to get 100,000 signatures to get the debate into the House of Commons.

Their campaign was sparked after William Martin, of Shelley Crescent, Blyth, was jailed in May at Newcastle Crown Court for a sex attack on a seven-year-old.

The 28-year-old was jailed for 32 months.

Now the petitioners – who are not related to the victim – have taken it upon themselves to challenge the leniency of the judicial system.

Laura Rennie, Gemma Greenaway and Shane Moore are putting their petition around the town in a bid to get the signatures required to have the issue looked at by government.

Mum-of-three Laura said: “We have got over 2,000 signatures already, so even though we are a long way off what we need, we are going in the right direction.

“No one likes paedophiles, so everyone is behind us in what we are doing.

“These crimes are horrendous and the sentences that these people are getting are just not long enough and we want to be able to get longer, harsher sentences and to do that we need the government to listen to us and take note.”

The petition has now been made into an e-petition, and has also been put in shops around the town.

Gemma added: “We want an end to sex offenders being able to make deals in court which can lead to reduced sentences.

“It is disturbing to think if the law can’t help our kids, who can?”

Shane added: “If there are any parents out there, help us help our children.”

Ronnie Campbell, MP for Blyth Valley, has now added his backing to the appeal.

“I will hand their petition personally to the minister. As a grandfather of 11, I would hate to think of anything ever happening to one of my grandchildren,” he said.

“I think for many people the sentences currently are not long enough.”

Visit http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/34631 to sign the petition.