Child abusers finally face life in prison after Tony Hudgell's family demanded law change

CHILD abusers will finally face life in jail in a crackdown by ministers today.

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab stepped in after the family of Tony Hudgell, now seven, demanded a law change.


Tony was 41 days old when he suffered eight fractures and needed both legs amputated after being abused by his birth parents.

Tony Smith and Jody Simpson got just ten years’ jail — prompting 12,000 people to sign a petition calling for Tony’s Law.

Changes to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill will see the maximum sentence for causing or allowing the death of a child upped from 14 years to life.

Causing or allowing serious physical harm will go from ten years to 14.

And cruelty will also be 14 years.

Tony’s adoptive mum, Paula Hudgell, 54, of Kings Hill, Kent, said: “This is for Tony and the children that suffered or lost their lives.”



Change is for justice

By Dominic Raab, Justice Secretary

TONY Hudgell was little more than a month old when he was admitted to hospital close to death.

His biological parents abused him so severely he lost both legs and hearing in his right ear. He is now seven and will be disabled for the rest of his life.

As the father of a six-year-old myself, I find this cruelty impossible to imagine. Tony’s biological parents got the maximum penalty of ten years for what they did.

But the couple who adopted Tony do not believe it is enough. And nor do I. Every year, hundreds of children suffer appalling abuse at the hands of their families and guardians. I’ve listened carefully to Tony’s devoted new parents, who have campaigned tirelessly.

I will introduce a new law to raise the sentence for those convicted of child cruelty and causing or allowing serious physical harm to a child from ten to 14 years.

For causing or allowing a child’s death we will raise the maximum sentence from 14 years to life. It’s what justice demands.

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