THE family of murdered schoolboy CJ Rickard have been left "devastated" after hearing his killer will appeal against his sentence tomorrow. CJ Rickard was murdered by Nathan Brown as he left Kidbrooke school, where he was a pupil, on January 24 last year. Brown, who was 15 at the time, was later convicted of the murder and cried as he was ordered to be detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure on September 10 last year.

The former Thomas Tallis pupil plans to appeal against the sentence at the High Court tomorrow - just six days after what would have been CJ's 16th birthday. CJ's sister Sally Rickard, 23, said: "We are not coping very well at the moment and we are just waiting for Thursday and Friday to find out what is going to happen - my mum is devastated."

CJ was 14 when he died after he was ambushed by a triad-style gang called the Golden Snakes, who punched and kicked him to the ground before Brown pulled out a 17-inch machete, shouting 'get out of my way.' He then hit CJ over the head three times with the machete, causing severe brain injuries from which CJ, of Harold Gibbons Court, later died.

Six of the youths were jailed for a total of 20 years after admitting conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm with intent. Brown, who was 16 at the time, admitted manslaughter but was found guilty of murder by an Old Bailey jury.

Sentencing the teenager to be detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure Judge Harold Tyler QC said at the time it was a "savage attack" and added: "You will be liable to be detained during and at such a place and under such conditions as the Secretary of State may direct."

l THE family of CJ Rickard celebrated what would have been his 16th birthday by raising money for the Helicopter Emergency Medical Services at a charity disco. The raffle, buffet and disco at Our Lady of Grace Hall in Charlton Road raised £1,600 for the helicopter service, which airlifted CJ to hospital.

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