Ex-MI5 chief Jonathan Evans says the most serious terrorists should get ‘whole life’ jail sentences

Ex-MI5 chief Jonathan Evans says the most serious terrorists should get ‘whole life’ jail sentences and die behind bars

Jonathan Evans said he backed Government’s tougher terror sentencing lawsSaid there should be more stringent sentences and current system ‘too complex’New legislation ended automatic release at halfway point of terrorism sentence

The most serious terrorists should be handed ‘whole life’ jail sentences and die behind bars, a former head of MI5 said last night.

Jonathan Evans, who retired as director general of the Security Service in 2013 and is now a cross-bench peer, also said he fully backed the Government’s tougher terror sentencing laws which were passed yesterday.

But the former spy chief went further, suggesting there should be even more stringent sentences, adding that the system was currently ‘too complex’.

Speaking at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford, Essex, Lord Evans said: ‘I think there’s a case for whole life tariffs and from my perspective it would not be a major problem if they were introduced more widely for very serious terrorist offences.’ Whole life tariffs are usually imposed on the very worst murderers such as serial killers and child killers.

Jonathan Evans (pictured) said he fully backed the Government’s tougher terror sentencing laws which were passed yesterday

Emergency legislation passed through Parliament last night ending the automatic release at the halfway point of a terrorism sentence – offenders will instead have to serve at least two-thirds of their term. All releases will also have to be approved by the Parole Board.

Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans announced in the Commons that the Terrorist Offenders (Restriction of Early Release) Bill – which was passed by MPs earlier this month – has now become an Act.

The legislation, which will affect around 50 prisoners, ensures terrorist offenders serve two-thirds of their sentence before they are considered eligible for release.



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