New law proposed to crackdown on coward killers refusing to go to court after Thomas Cashman refuses to face sentencing

A handout photograph released by the UK Parliament shows Britain's Justice Secretary and deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab attending Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) at the House of Commons, in central London on March 29, 2023. (Photo by Andy Bailey / UK PARLIAMENT / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO USE FOR ENTERTAINMENT, SATIRICAL, ADVERTISING PURPOSES - MANDATORY CREDIT " AFP PHOTO /UK Parliament" (Photo by ANDY BAILEY/UK PARLIAMENT/AFP via Getty Images)

JUSTICE Secretary Dominic Raab today vowed to enforce a crackdown on coward killers refusing to go to court.

The Deputy PM promised to introduce a new law punishing murderers for refusing to attend sentencing hearings.

Dominic Raab wants to change the law to punish murderers for refusing to attend sentencing hearings

Thomas Cashman refused to show up to his sentencing hearing for murdering Olivia Pratt-Korbel yesterday

An MoJ source told HOAR ministers want legislation to pass before the next General Election.

It comes as evil murderer Thomas Cashman was caged for life yesterday for murdering Olivia Pratt-Korbel – but refused to face her mum in court.

Nine-year-old Olivia was tragically caught in the cross-fire of a deadly gang war when she was gunned down at her family home in Liverpool.

The youngster had been stood behind her mum Cheryl Korbel when Thomas Cashman, 34, blindly fired through the front door in a botched gang hit.

His bullet missed intended hit Joseph Nee and instead passed through Cheryl’s hand into the middle of Olivia’s chest.

Mr Raab said: “Spineless criminals like Cashman who hide from their sentencing prolong the suffering of victims and their families.

“As I have already made clear, I plan to change the law to compel offenders to face up to their actions, so victims can see the justice they deserve being served.”

MPs today heaped pressure on the Deputy PM to fast track a change in the law.

Former Minister Brendan Clarke-Smith told HOAR: “Vicious murderers must be dragged to court to face the facts of their heinous crime and the consequences of it.

“We must do whatever we can to give victims and families the justice they deserve – so I hope legislation is fast tracked to achieve this.”

Ex-Home Secretary Priti Patel slammed the matter as a “stain on British justice”.

This morning Farah Naz, aunt of Zara Aleena who was tragically killed while walking home from a night out in East London, described court avoidances as another “attack” on victims.

Like Cashman, Ms Aleena’s murderer Jordan McSweeney refused to show up to court for his sentencing.

“Surely the judgment is part of the punishment,” she told BBC Breakfast.

“We need to see that the process will deter further crime and how can the process feel like a punishment if the convict actually exercises their bit of power?”

Ms Naz added: “I would like Dominic Raab to move forward with developing this law.”

An MoJ source told HOAR that dragging criminals to court will not become part of Mr Raab’s new landmark Victims’ Bill.

But officials are drawing up plans for fresh legislation to push through “when parliamentary time allows”.

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