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22/09/2017

UUP Hits Out Over Sentences Given To Two Republican Terrorists

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) has hit out over the five-year sentences handed out to two republican terrorists who tried to bomb a police recruitment event in L'Derry.

Justice spokesperson Doug Beattie MC MLA described the sentences as "pathetic and an insult to victims of terrorism".

He said: "The concepts of punishment and deterrence seem to be entirely alien concepts to the Northern Ireland judicial system. Pathetic sentences of five years in prison, plus five years on licence are a complete insult to victims of terrorism in particular and society in general.
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"Either we as a society take terrorist violence seriously or we don't. If we are taking it seriously then we need to see robust policing operations against terrorists and meaningful sentences against these individuals once they are caught. Once again the police have done their job and must be commended, but once again they have been let down by the sentences handed out by a court.

"All too often our courts hand out weak sentences that suggest a toleration of a certain level of violence as inevitable and even normal.

"Former Royal Marine Ciaran Maxwell received an 18-year sentence, plus five more on licence, for a variety of terrorist offences from the Old Bailey in London. How he must wish he had been sentenced in a Northern Ireland court!"

(CD)

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