SOUTH Swindon MP Robert Buckland has helped see a child killer get a longer life sentence after appealing to the Court of Appeal.

Marvyn Iheanacho, 39, was convicted on July 21 this year at Woolwich Crown Court of the murder of his five-year-old stepson Alex Malcolm.

The court originally sentenced him to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 18 years.

This week, the sentence was found to be unduly lenient and was increased to a minimum term of 21 years.

Iheanacho beat the little boy unconscious after he left one of his shoes in the playground in Mountsfield Park, South London.

He then failed to seek medical help for young Alex before trying to prevent his mother calling an ambulance.

Iheanacho later lied to medical staff about how the serious brain and abdominal injuries had been caused.

In addition to being the MP for South Swindon, Mr Buckland is also the Solicitor General and is jointly responsible, alongside the Attorney General, for the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme.

No stranger to the criminal courts himself having been a barrister for many years and a judge prior to his election to parliament, Mr Buckland appealed the sentence initially passed by the Crown Court judge, arguing that it was too lenient for the violent crime.

Speaking after the Court of Appeal's decision, Mr Buckland said: "The unspeakable violence that this young boy was subject to is truly appalling. Iheanacho then deliberately withheld medical care from the five-year-old and consistently lied to everyone about how the injuries were caused.

"As a result, a vulnerable little boy was murdered by someone in a position of trust. I hope the increased sentence gives some comfort to Alex Malcolm’s family."