The country’s top judges have agreed with Shipley MP Philip Davies that a female prison officer who smuggled drugs and other contraband into prison for inmates should be locked up and not allowed to walk free simply because she is a mother.
Safak Bozkurt was originally handed a two year suspended prison sentence for bringing drugs, mobile phones and SIM cards into a young offender’s institute in London. However, after Mr Davies contacted the Attorney General, claiming the sentence was unduly lenient, Bozkurt is now serving a 32 month prison term.
Mr Davies said: “This woman was in a position of authority and knowingly broke the law to provide contraband to criminals. She willingly took drugs and phones into a prison and pocketed up to £1,000 each time she smuggled in the goods. This was a total abuse of her position and for her children to be used as a ‘get out of jail free card’ is completely unacceptable”.
Mr Davies was name-checked during the initial court case. Judge Griffith said he had heard the MP on Radio 4 being attacked by the leader of the Women’s Equality Party for the “temerity for saying men and women should be treated equally before the law.” Despite the judge citing equality, he did not send Bozkurt to prison after her legal team pleaded leniency as she had two young children. It was said Bozkurt carried out the crimes to pay off debts and fund her Master’s Degree in Criminology.
Mr Davies added: “I am delighted the Court of Appeal judges have overturned the original sentence and the country’s top judges have agreed with me that this sentence was unduly lenient. The fact the original judge mentioned what I have been saying about equality in sentencing amongst men and women hopefully means that the message is beginning to hit home. It is just a shame he did not act when he could and that I had to contact the Attorney General and say the sentence was unduly lenient. I hope judges will listen to what their colleagues at the Court of Appeal have said and take note of the Attorney General’s representative’s point that parenthood cannot be a “trump card” for criminals.”
The Court of Appeal said the original judge had paid too much attention to the plight of the children aged four and seven – despite the original judge saying that the defendant should have had her children in mind instead of her lawyer telling him that he should have it in his when sentencing.