Only the family serve a life sentence

I HOPE that I can live many lives, as the legal interpretation of just one doesn’t seem long enough.

Two men from Camborne have been found guilty of the savage murder of solider Dave Curnow on a night out in Redruth last year. They were handed life sentences yet were told they will be set free in 16 and 13.5 years respectively.  One of the killers, Liam Laing, will be released before his 35th birthday.

Both of these convicted murderers will be afforded the luxury of a long life in the free world. That same luxury was robbed from their victim, who had the misfortune to cross their path and was just 20 years old.

The pair carried out a feral, brutal and sustained attack lasting several minutes on Mr Curnow, who had recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. He is believed to be the youngest British soldier to serve in the region.

CCTV captured the whole attack and showed how they beat the defenceless man to the ground, punched and kicked him and stamped on his head before dragging him into the street.

The pair were then filmed re-enacting the attack as they appeared to brag to a friend, shake hands and embrace while admiring their handiwork.

Why is a life sentence called ‘life’ when in reality it’s just a few short years?

If the sentence is 16 years, why not make it 16 years? Why dress it up to appear longer than it really is? Short sentences cheapen the life of victims and don’t offer a strong enough deterrent. How can these murderers commit the worse crime imaginable by taking another life and pay such a paltry price?

On a personal level, I’m close to the family of someone who was murdered in an unprovoked attack almost 20 years ago. I have witnessed first-hand the devastating long-lasting effects on families.

The soldier’s family will be paying the price of the killer’s actions and will serve the longest possible sentence long after the pair have served their time.

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