In the Media

Murder reform: sorting mercy from malice

PUBLISHED December 7, 2011

Frances Inglis was convicted in January 2010 for murdering her son Thomas with a lethal dose of heroin in November 2008. She had tried and failed to kill him in September 2007, two months after an accident which left him brain damaged. Mrs Inglis, 58, from Dagenham, in East London, said she did not wish to see her son suffer. She was given a life sentence with a minimum term of nine years, reduced to five years on appeal.

Rupert Ross, 30, a former public schoolboy, was given life last month and told he must serve a minimum of 30 years in jail. After becoming involved in drug dealing he disguised himself as a lawyer to shoot dead a rival outside Wandsworth jail in London. Ross, educated at Dulwich College, had been in trouble with the police since he was 16 and had previous convictions for theft and burglary.

Tony Martin, a Norfolk farmer, was jailed for life for shooting a teenager burgling his home. In August 1999 he shot dead Fred Barras, 16, and wounded Brendon Fearon, 30. His sentence was cut to five years in 2001.

Sally Clark, a solicitor, was jailed for life for the murder of two of her babies in 1999. She was cleared and died four years after being released, of alcohol poisoning.

Ian Huntley received two life terms for the murders of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells in Soham, Cambridgeshire, in 2002. Mr Justice Moses said that the killings did not meet the criteria for a ?whole life? tariff but set a minimum time to be served of40 years.