Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Viewpoint: Justice near for Attracta

It has been a long, hard slog but light is finally appearing at the end of the tunnel.

After the sentencing of Trevor Hamilton for the murder of the Strabane librarian Attracta Harron in 2003, the Belfast Telegraph launched our Justice For Attracta campaign.

We were disgusted to learn that Hamilton killed Attracta after being released half way through a sentence for rape under Northern Ireland's unique policy that allowed 50% remission for serious sex offenders.

Our disgust turned to anger when we then learned criminals like Hamilton can leave prison early without undergoing effective treatment for their severe personality disorders - another practice unique to Northern Ireland.

Over 35,000 of you signed our petition demanding an end to 50% remission, proper sentencing and an effective treatment strategy.

Finally, and not without some setbacks along the way, a £14 million overhaul of criminal justice here goes before the House of Commons on Monday. At last, the obnoxious 50% remission rule is being swept away.

Our plea today is for this important new legislation to pass through Parliament unimpeded.

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