MP backs family of Trowbridge murder victim
12:00pm Friday 2nd May 2014 in By Andy Baber, Senior reporter for Trowbridge
MP Andrew Murrison said the justice system needs to do more to support the families of murder victims after the family of Trowbridge mum-to-be Hayley Richards found out her killer had been deported.
The family are angry they were not informed Hugo Quintas was to be deported from Wandsworth Prison back to his native Portugal to serve the rest of his sentence.
Brother Paul Richards was notified by the Wiltshire Probation Trust a day after Quintas had been sent back and while he will not be permitted to return to the UK, his release will now be according to the laws in Portugal.
According to Mr Richards, the trial judge had ruled that Quintas, who murdered his 23-year-old pregnant girlfriend in June 2005, should serve at least two thirds of his 18 year mininimum sentence in the UK.
Dr Murrison, the MP for South West Wiltshire, said he has now taken up the concerns of the family with Home Secretary Theresa May and will meet with them next Friday to discuss their case.
He said: “What we haven’t properly worked out yet is the rights of victims of crime and their right to be kept in the picture. Those who have sustained a loss as a result of criminal activity have suffered hugely.
“It sounds like they are being processed rather than handled empathetically; there needs to be more care and compassion given.
“In general, I’m in favour of deporting criminals back to their home country as long as they serve their full sentences.”
Last week, the Commons public accounts committee published a report complaining about the slow rate at which foreign prisoners in English and Welsh jails are deported because of the burden on the UK taxpayer.
However, Mr Richards said the family just want assurances that Quintas will serve the minimum 18 years he was given, especially as they will now have no say when he comes up for parole.
Dr Murrison added: “One of their concerns is the impact that they have on the appeals process, which is quite limited anyway. I hope to find out the extent to which the Richards family will be kept informed.
“I have written to the Home Secretary to ask for clarity. I want to check whether it is the case that Hugo Quintas was meant to serve the bulk of his sentence in the UK and if so, why that’s not happening.”