Whole-life sentence ruling could affect jail term of Lee Rigby killers

Lee Rigby killer Michael Adebolajo

Lee Rigby killer Michael Adebolajo

First published in News
Last updated
© by

THE spotlight will be on controversial whole-life sentences when leading judges carry out test case reviews today, in a hearing which will affect the jail terms of Lee Rigby's killers.

A panel of five Court of Appeal judges in London will hear bids by two killers to challenge orders against them which mean they must spend the rest of their days behind bars.

The sentencing of the two men who murdered Fusilier Lee Rigby in Woolwich has been postponed until after this appeal.

Today's applications are being made by Lee Newell, who murdered child killer Subhan Anwar in prison, and murderer and rapist Matthew Thomas.

The actions will be heard by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, sitting with Sir Brian Leveson, Lady Justice Hallett, Lord Justice Treacy and Mr Justice Burnett.

In addition, Attorney General Dominic Grieve has referred the case of Ian McLoughlin, who was given a life sentence with a tariff of 40 years for murdering a man on day release.

In that case the judges will be asked to rule on whether the 40 years can be regarded as "unduly lenient" and should be increased.

The central legal issue at the hearing before the judges will be the nature of the sentencing scheme for whole-life orders and the compatibility of such an order with the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Government has said that whole-life tariffs are "wholly justified in the most heinous cases".

Such terms were deemed a breach of human rights following a successful appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) by murderers Jeremy Bamber, Douglas Vinter and Peter Moore.

Last year the trio won a ruling that their whole-life sentences amount to "inhuman and degrading treatment".

Whole-lifers should be entitled to a review of their sentence 25 years into their term at the very latest, the Grand Chamber of the Strasbourg-based court said.

The ruling by 17 judges from across Europe sparked further outrage among critics of the court - despite reassurances that the decision did not amount to grounds for imminent release.

Newell, 44, is challenging a whole-life sentence imposed last September at Warwick Crown Court.

He was convicted alongside Gary Smith for the February 2013 murder of convicted child killer Anwar in his cell at Long Lartin Prison, Worcestershire. Newell was already serving a life sentence for a previous murder committed in 1988.

Convicted rapist Thomas was told "life means life" after murdering a newly-wed bride and then kidnapping and raping a second woman.

Thomas, then 43, from Luton, pleaded guilty to the murder of Colette Magee in Luton last November. He also admitted two counts of rape, one of indecent assault and one count of kidnap of the second woman.

Triple killer McLoughlin, 55, was jailed for life at the Old Bailey last October for stabbing a man on his first day-release from prison after 21 years in custody.

When sentencing McLoughlin, the trial judge imposed a 40-year tariff, saying he could not pass a whole-life term because of the European court ruling.

McLoughlin - who had killed twice before - stabbed Graham Buck, 66, as he came to the aid of a neighbour in Little Gaddesden, Hertfordshire, last July

There are 49 prisoners serving whole-life terms in England and Wales, including Moors murderer Ian Brady, who tortured and murdered children along with accomplice Myra Hindley, and serial killer Rosemary West.

The appeal judges were expected to deal with a challenge by Mark Bridger, who was convicted of the murder of five-year-old April Jones, but he abandoned his application for permission to appeal against his whole-life tariff.

Bridger kidnapped the child before sexually abusing her, murdering her and disposing of her body.

The former slaughterhouse worker was given the whole-life sentence by trial judge Mr Justice Griffith Williams after he was convicted by a jury at Mold Crown Court.

Bridger, a father of six, snatched April near her home in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, on October 1 2012. Her body has never been found.

The judges are expected to reserve their decision.

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:42am Fri 24 Jan 14

kentlad says...

Make them serve 25yrs then hang them, job done!!!
Make them serve 25yrs then hang them, job done!!! kentlad
  • Score: 27

10:04am Fri 24 Jan 14

sarfflondonbird says...

For the love of God (if he exists!), stop letting the E.U. rule out justice system. They have no idea do they? Life should mean life exactly, no back taking. These people are put away for a bloody good reason.....the public's safety and their punishment for taking a life or lives. Wish this country would show some backbone against the idiots in charge.
For the love of God (if he exists!), stop letting the E.U. rule out justice system. They have no idea do they? Life should mean life exactly, no back taking. These people are put away for a bloody good reason.....the public's safety and their punishment for taking a life or lives. Wish this country would show some backbone against the idiots in charge. sarfflondonbird
  • Score: 43

10:10am Fri 24 Jan 14

sarfflondonbird says...

Another thing, just checking that photo above.....you can tell that is one of the many son's of Satan by the enormous bunion protruding from its head. In the 16th century that would have been classed as a sign of witch craft or devil worship. You all read what happened to those people in those days! Perhaps it should be tried on him...bring on his umen rites.
Another thing, just checking that photo above.....you can tell that is one of the many son's of Satan by the enormous bunion protruding from its head. In the 16th century that would have been classed as a sign of witch craft or devil worship. You all read what happened to those people in those days! Perhaps it should be tried on him...bring on his umen rites. sarfflondonbird
  • Score: 22

10:13am Fri 24 Jan 14

Gold and Silver says...

sarfflondonbird wrote:
Another thing, just checking that photo above.....you can tell that is one of the many son's of Satan by the enormous bunion protruding from its head. In the 16th century that would have been classed as a sign of witch craft or devil worship. You all read what happened to those people in those days! Perhaps it should be tried on him...bring on his umen rites.
He prob felt the full force of a wardens truncheon in prison!
[quote][p][bold]sarfflondonbird[/bold] wrote: Another thing, just checking that photo above.....you can tell that is one of the many son's of Satan by the enormous bunion protruding from its head. In the 16th century that would have been classed as a sign of witch craft or devil worship. You all read what happened to those people in those days! Perhaps it should be tried on him...bring on his umen rites.[/p][/quote]He prob felt the full force of a wardens truncheon in prison! Gold and Silver
  • Score: 19

11:59am Fri 24 Jan 14

Gypo.Joe says...

Life should mean exactly that for these two POS.

Meanwhile in other news...

BNP party leader Nick Griffin has very kindly decided to potentially share his debts with each and every one of the membership.

ROFLMAO !!
Life should mean exactly that for these two POS. Meanwhile in other news... BNP party leader Nick Griffin has very kindly decided to potentially share his debts with each and every one of the membership. ROFLMAO !! Gypo.Joe
  • Score: -29

12:41pm Fri 24 Jan 14

danm5577 says...

Against their human rights?
What about the people who died and their human rights?
Life for a life, I honestly can't see us ever bringing back the death penalty so they should be locked for life.
Against their human rights? What about the people who died and their human rights? Life for a life, I honestly can't see us ever bringing back the death penalty so they should be locked for life. danm5577
  • Score: 31

5:23am Mon 27 Jan 14

sarfflondonbird says...

Gold and Silver wrote:
sarfflondonbird wrote:
Another thing, just checking that photo above.....you can tell that is one of the many son's of Satan by the enormous bunion protruding from its head. In the 16th century that would have been classed as a sign of witch craft or devil worship. You all read what happened to those people in those days! Perhaps it should be tried on him...bring on his umen rites.
He prob felt the full force of a wardens truncheon in prison!
One. Word.........GOOD.
[quote][p][bold]Gold and Silver[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sarfflondonbird[/bold] wrote: Another thing, just checking that photo above.....you can tell that is one of the many son's of Satan by the enormous bunion protruding from its head. In the 16th century that would have been classed as a sign of witch craft or devil worship. You all read what happened to those people in those days! Perhaps it should be tried on him...bring on his umen rites.[/p][/quote]He prob felt the full force of a wardens truncheon in prison![/p][/quote]One. Word.........GOOD. sarfflondonbird
  • Score: 7

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree