Dame Caroline Dinenage, Member of Parliament for Gosport, has raised the recent murder of 22-year-old Levi Kent in Bridgemary with the Leader of the House of Commons, Penny Mordaunt.
Four individuals have been charged with the murder of Levi, which occurred on the morning of Friday 24th November. One of those individuals was released early from prison on licence in September, following a two-year sentencing for a previous conviction of wounding with intent.
Caroline raised her concerns in Business Questions as to how the accused suspect was able to be released on license, and able to commit this murder.
She asked the Leader of the House for a debate on His Majesty’s Prison and Probate Service and their decision-making process to release on licence. The Leader of the House confirmed that the Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor, Alex Chalk, was aware of the tragic case and will be in touch with Caroline to discuss a review.
Speaking in the debate, Caroline asked the Leader of the House:
“Could we have a debate on HM Probation and Prison Services decisions to release on licence? Last Friday, my constituent Levi Kent was stabbed to death. The man charged with his murder was sentenced to two years in prison for wounding with intent in January of this year, and was released on licence in September.
“Would my Rt. Hon. Friend back my calls for a Serious Case Review into the licencing decision and monitoring, which may have freed someone who should be in prison, to murder.”
The Leader of the House of Commons, the Rt. Hon. Penny Mordaunt, responded:
“I’m sure that I speak for the whole House when I say how appalled we are to hear of this situation, and our thoughts are with my Rt. Hon. Friend’s constituents, and all affected by that appalling tragedy.
“I know that the Lord Chancellor is aware of this particular case. I am sure that it would need to be subject to a review to see what has happened in this instance.
“I know that the Lord Chancellor’s door is always open to the Hon. Lady, and I think he may have already contacted her about this and I thank my Hon. Friend for all she is doing in her constituency in the aftermath of this appalling event.”
Speaking after Business Questions, Caroline said:
“The tragedy of Levi’s death is made all the more heart-breaking by the fact that one of the men charged with the murder should have been in prison. Clearly, there are questions to answer about how he came to be released so early on licence, given he was sentenced for a violent crime less than a year ago, and what measures were in place to manage him upon release.
“I have spoken to the Justice Secretary to make him aware of this case, and will be writing to him to ask for a Serious Case Review into this matter.
“Of course, my thoughts remain with Levi’s family and friends.”