A GRIEVING sister is calling for victims and their families to be given more opportunity to fight jail sentences.
Beverley Keenan’s brother Joey was stabbed to death in a Blackpool flat 12 years ago, and now she is calling on people to support her petition for a Victim Criminal Cases Review Board.
She says if distressed families do not believe sentences are tough enough they should be allowed to appeal them - in exactly the same way criminals can argue against the length of their jail term.
Miss Keenan, of Ribble Road, Blackpool, told The Gazette: “It’s 12 years since I lost my brother and I think his killer should have got life.
“He didn’t and it is not good enough, someone needs to put a stop to this.
“The justice system is not doing its job right.
“I’ve got about 50 signatures on my petition in the last few days and I’m trying to get as much support as I can.”
Currently anyone, including victims and their families, can ask the Attorney General to review a sentence passed in the crown court if they feel it is unduly lenient.
But Miss Keenan’s petition is calling for victims to be allowed to appeal directly to the high court, backed by a solicitor.
Mr Keenan’s killer, Mark Oldfield, was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to seven years in prison but was released in 2005.
The dangerous thug was thrown back behind bars again in 2009 after attacking his next-door neighbour with a pizza cutter.
He was given eight years in prison but the sentence was reduced to five at London’s Criminal Appeal Court last year.
A spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office said: “People can ask the attorney general to look at sentences again.
“The attorney general can then refer sentences he considers unduly lenient to the Court of Appeal but there is a strict 28-day time limit from the date of sentence and only sentences passed for certain offences come within the scheme.
“It is then for the Court of Appeal to decide whether the sentence is unduly lenient and if so, whether it should be increased.”