A vicious killer has had his sentence extended to a whole-life term in prison after an MP argued that his minimum term of 40 years was “unduly lenient”.
Mike Penning, who represents Hemel Hempstead, wrote to the Attorney General after the Ian McLoughlin ruling in October.
McLoughlin’s judge had then said that he was unable to pass a whole-life term following a European ruling that it could be a breach of human rights.
McLoughlin, who had killed twice before, slit the throat of 66-year-old Little Gaddesden grandfather Graham Buck after being allowed out of jail for the first time in 21 years.
He travelled on day release from HMP Spring Hill near Aylesbury to the Nettleden Road home of elderly paedophile Francis Cory-Wright, who he had met in prison, in July.
Mr Buck interrupted the 55-year-old’s robbery of Cory-Wright by coming to the aid of his neighbour after hearing him crying out for help and paid for his neighbourliness with his life.
Speaking yesterday, Mr Penning said: “Common sense has prevailed at last and justice has been served.”
East of England Member of the European Richard Howitt - who covers Herts among other counties - has also welcomed the decision.
Mr Howitt is a spokesman on the European Parliament’s Human Rights Committee and said the ruling shows human rights and justice can be upheld together.
He said: “Ian McLoughlin committed a heinous crime and is one of only 50 prisoners serving a life-term in Britain today, and many people will say it is the right decision to uphold the UK courts’ right to impose such a sentence.
“I made clear at the time that the original European Court judgement did not question the use of life sentences, but the need to include the possibility of review.
“What today’s judgment shows is that the ability of a prisoner to appeal to the Secretary of State constitutes such a review, and the essence of the argument was simply whether the review be undertaken by a politician or by a judge.
“Those who simply sought to mis-use this issue to bash Europe show disrespect to the family of the victim in the case of a horrible murder.
“Instead the decision brings legal clarity and shows that it is possible to uphold principles of both justice and of human rights.”