I was appalled to hear that Kyreis Davies’s sentence has been reduced from 21 years to 16 years. This means that he will be let out in his early thirties, having taken away the life of Tavis who had his whole life ahead of him. When the original 21-year minimum sentence was handed out, there was a general sense that the justice system had been robust and that justice had been done. And this has been sadly undermined by this sentence reduction.
I am not persuaded by any suggestion that Kyreis Davies’s age at the time of the murder justifies this sentence reduction. Being 16, he was certainly old enough to know right from wrong. And in fact, he was given a shorter original sentence than two of his older accomplices who were also found guilty of murder.
Unfortunately, this appeal adds to the sense that justice hasn’t been settled in Tavis’s case. It follows multiple instances of social media use in prison of those convicted of Tavis’s death. These harmful actions only cause additional pain for Tavis’s friends and loved-ones and they should never have been allowed to happen. After Callum Plaats, who was convicted of manslaughter, posted on social media in January, bragging about how he only had five year’s ‘light work’ left to serve half his sentence, I raised it directly with the Prisons Minister and I stressed the importance that he receive further punishment. I was given assurances that punishments were being brought but whatever punishment was dispensed in this case, it clearly failed to deter Aristote Yenge who was caught posting on social media in April. Aristote Yenge was convicted of Tavis’s murder.
Tavis’s death was dark moment for our town and we must be able to move on as a community. This means that justice must be upheld and that those responsible serve their full sentences. This isn’t just a fundamental question of justice, but these sorts of despicable crimes must be deterred in the future. I will continue to raise this case at the highest levels and I’ll be writing to the Attorney General to express my deep concerns about this latest sentence reduction.