OAN’s Brooke Mallory
3:14 PM – Sunday, July 9, 2023
A record number of serial knife offenders are being released from prison in the United Kingdom, including one who has had 45 convictions.
Shocking statistics have prompted concerns about the rate of criminals reoffending with knives, showing suspended sentences for repeat offenders nearly tripling in the last decade.
The appalling case of a knife offender who appeared in court last year with 45 previous convictions for a blade or offensive weapon, the most ever recorded, confused those who were aware of the government’s purported “two strikes and you’re out” rule.
According to Ministry of Justice data, the number of criminals with repeated knife convictions going free with a suspended sentence has more than quadrupled, rising from 543 in 2012 to 1,027 last year.
The statistics obtained by the press under the Freedom of Information Act said that 4,213 convicted knife offenders appeared in court last year for repeated offenses.
Nonetheless, 1,064 of those received community sentences or deferred sentences. The number of repeat offenders sentenced to immediate incarceration has decreased from 3,531 in 2019 to 2,609 since 2022.
Since 2017, anyone above the age of 16 who commits a second knife offense faces jail time. Adults would reportedly receive a minimum of six months, while those aged 16–17 would receive four months. However, judges have the option of not sending the defendant to jail if it would be “unjust to do so in all the circumstance.”
“At a time when knife crime crimes are growing… it beggars belief that more and more habitual knife carriers are being returned to society without having to face jail time,” said Patrick Green, chief executive of the Ben Kinsella Trust.
“This is an insult to victims and only serves to undermine confidence in the justice system. It is 15 years since we lost Ben. It pains me to say… nothing has changed.”
Knife crime has increased by 46% in the last decade, with 49,265 incidents using a knife or a sharp weapon recorded in 2022.
Jasna Badzak, whose 22-year-old son Sven was reportedly stabbed to death on the street, had asked for mandatory jail sentences under “Sven’s Law” for any individual found with a knife.
Two drug traffickers were convicted of his murder last week after mistaking him for a gang rival. Antony Gedel, 22, has 13 convictions, four of them were due to his involvement in causing injuries or deaths while using a knife.
Shiroh Ambersley, 22, had two convictions for blade possession and two for threatening with an offensive weapon.
Yesterday, authorities said the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act, which came into force last year, had modified the bar for detention to guarantee serial knife offenders would receive a minimum jail sentence unless there were “exceptional circumstances.”
According to the ONS, the use of sharp instruments has been the most prevalent method of murder in England and Wales since March 2022, accounting for 41 percent of 696 murders.
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