Ministers are facing demands to explain why thousands of convicted sexual offenders across England and Wales have avoided prison.
An Observer investigation found that adults convicted of sexually assaulting children under 13, or of engaging in sexual activity with underage teenagers, are among those who have not been jailed.
An Observer analysis of thousands of convictions shows that between 2013 and 2020, 14,530 of the 44,721 adults sentenced for sexual offences were given suspended or community sentences – almost one in three. Just over 60% were immediately sent to prison, with the rest dealt with in other ways, such as conditional discharges and fines.
It is fun seeing how “bang ’em up” becomes the mantra when it’s politically convenient to say so and an absolute horror when it comes to the politically inconvenient. Viricide, for example, is to be understood, copping a feel means jail?