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Newspaper Columns

KM Column - Baby Tony Petition - 3 January 2019

Welcome back to a brand-new year full of lots of new challenges, and hopefully plenty of new achievements.

While there are a lot of things I plan to start working on this year, there’s also a lot I am going to keep doing because our hard work on many projects for our community hasn’t finished.

I’m sure my first week back in Parliament won’t be a quiet one, and whilst I’m looking forward to getting back to work, and seeing some familiar faces, something I’m most looking forward to is handing in Baby Tony Hudgell’s petition.

So many of you have given Tony’s family the most amazing support to get as many signatures as possible for our campaign to increase the time people can spend in prison if they’re convicted of child abuse.

Paula Hudgell and her family have done an outstanding job of promoting this incredibly important and worthy cause and collecting signatures, and I’m delighted that I will be presenting 11,453 of these to Parliament next week – with almost 10,000 more signatures online.

Baby Tony’s story is an inspiration to all of us and sends an incredibly important message that those who commit such heinous crimes should be punished. In Baby Tony’s case, his abusers were his biological parents he should have been able to trust them. The offence is so much worse because of that and the sentence should have been much longer than the 10 years they received. They left their son with life-changing injuries. That’s horrific and wrong.

I will continue to push ministers to extend the maximum sentence that can be handed down. The petitions collected over the last few months show just how important this issue is. I want to see those who commit these crimes punished for the evil and wicked acts they commit.

Georgie Welford