MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall has today welcomed advice from the Attorney General that legislation will be introduced in State Parliament this week, to increase the maximum sentence for sexual intercourse with a child under 10 years of age, from 25 years to life imprisonment.
Mr Marshall, who has been a strong campaigner for tougher sentences for convicted paedophiles, said the new laws would be introduced in to better protect children in the community.
“These are the very worst crimes against the most vulnerable in our community, our children, and frankly, far too often the sentences being handed out to these monsters was not in line with community expectation,” Mr Marshall said.
“So the government is now delivering on an election commitment and changing that balance.
“We are also seeking to add 13 child sexual assault offences to the Standard Non-Parole Period Scheme, which provides judiciary guidance with sentencing.
“The new standard non-parole periods will be significantly higher than the current average sentences for those offences.
“This means that there is better guidance to the court of what community expectation is around the non-parole period – it sends a very clear message that the sentences that should guide judges when they are making decisions, are longer sentences.
“I am also very pleased that the NSW Government will be providing survivors of child sexual assault with more support including a plan for specialist judges to hear child sexual assault cases across our State.”
Mr Marshall said victims who speak out showed great courage and were entitled to compassion and justice.
“These reforms will give survivors the confidence to come forward and by breaking the silence they are also helping to protect others,” he said.