Thousands of criminals including burglars and thieves will serve less time in prison under new guidelines that urge courts to cut jail terms by 15 per cent.

The change means that a non-violent and non-sexual offender sentenced to six years will spend one year and five months less in jail.
The guidance - issued by the Sentencing Guidelines Council, headed by Lord Woolf, the Lord Chief Justice - led last night to accusations that the public was being deceived by the Government and the legal establishment.

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