Women found guilty of child abuse are twice as likely to walk free as a man convicted of the same crime. Startling figures given to Shipley MP Philip Davies by the Ministry of Justice show 33 per cent of men convicted of cruelty and neglect were jailed compared to 15 per cent of women. Mr Davies raised concerns in the Commons, calling for Equalities Minister Caroline Dinenage to explain the gender sentence differences. He said: “There are stark differences between the numbers of men and women who are going to prison as a result of this crime. Notwithstanding that the figures are far too low given the abhorrence of the crime, why there is such discrepancy between the two figures?” Mr Davies, who has long campaigned for gender equality, has repeatedly been told women are not sentenced to prison as often as men as it is better for them to be near their children. He added: “The minister cannot trot out her normal answer that women are not being sent to prison to spend more time with the children given the nature of these crimes.” Ms Dinenage said child neglect was abhorrent and those found guilty should be punished. She added: “Sentencing is matter for the independent judiciary and not government. They take into account a number of factors including the seriousness of the offence, aggravating and mitigating factors and a guilty plea but our sentencing framework is gender neutral.” Mr Davies said the answer was “simply not good enough” and more needed to be done to protect children from their abusers.