Thursday, 22 December 2011


Brian Lewis was convicted on the 10th September 2009 of murdering his partner less than a fortnight after she changed her status to single on Facebook.

Lewis first stabbed and then strangled Hayley Jones to death at the home they shared with their four children.

The 31-year-old from Pritchard Terrace, Phillipstown, New Tredegar, South Wales, then fled the scene during the early hours of March 12, 2009 and drove to a police station, leaving his children to find their mother's body in the living room.

Cardiff Crown Court heard the couple's relationship had been under strain due to financial pressures after the defendant was made redundant. They also bickered over the amount of time Ms Jones had taken to spending on the Facebook website.

Lewis had claimed he had been trimming his finger nails with a kitchen knife when he tried to "touch" his 26-year-old partner's sleeping bag with the tip of the blade out of frustration following a row.

The knife pierced two sleeping bags and went through three layers of clothing Ms Jones had been wearing while trying to sleep on a settee before her ribcage prevented it from penetrating any further.

He said he later found himself with his hands around Ms Jones's throat and only came to and released his grip when he heard one of his sons calling out from upstairs.

After just three hours of deliberation, the jury of eight women and four men rejected this explanation and returned a unanimous guilty verdict.

Lewis showed no emotion as the verdict was read out although there were shouts of "Yes!" and "Get in there!" from the public gallery.

After calling for quiet, Judge Roderick Evans sentenced Lewis to life imprisonment and ordered that he serve a minimum tariff of 14 years, less the time spent in custody on remand.

During the trial the jury heard the couple had been together for 13 years and regarded themselves as husband and wife.

However, due to financial pressures after the defendant lost his job working on the railways in 2007, cracks had begun to appear in the relationship.

On March 2, Ms Jones went as far as changing her relationship status to single following a row over the disciplining of one of their sons.

The court has previously heard a post-mortem examination found Ms Jones died of strangulation. Most significant, said prosecutor Mark Evans QC during his opening, was a stabbing injury she received to her chest before she died.

The prosecutor said although this proved to be non-fatal, by penetrating two sleeping bags and three layers of clothing she was wearing while trying to sleep on the living room settee, it illustrated she had not been on her feet fighting the defendant at that time.

After taking to the witness box to give evidence, Lewis told the jury he did have an issue with the amount of time Ms Jones was spending on a laptop computer he bought for her in February of this year.

He said she would sometimes come home at 8am after working a 12 hour shift at a care home and stay up for "three to four hours" browsing the site before going to bed. He said her free evenings were also spent on the computer.

"I would be trying to send the kids to bed and she would be on it," he said. "You would try to talk to her and she would just ignore you. There were arguments."

He added: "I didn't have an issue with her using it (the laptop), it was just when normal life was disrupted."

He said Ms Jones was quite open about her activity on the computer at first but gradually became more secretive and would close the lid on the laptop whenever he came near.

When his barrister, Peter Murphy QC, asked how relations were between him and his partner by the end of February, Lewis replied: "They were all right but there were petty arguments about the computer usage.

"We were together and doing things but you could see the usage and problems in the house were just building up slowly."

Mr Evans said the couple's four children, Jordan, Cory, Kian and Tia, are now in the care of their grandmother, Sally Williams.

He said their former family home is also likely to be repossessed imminently after being preserved as a crime scene by Gwent Police until recently.

In mitigation, Mr Murphy said: "Whatever he may have done, he too has lost everything. I don't say that as an excuse or that it can ever be compared with the loss the family of Ms Jones have experienced, but it is true."

He added: "His children are effectively lost to him. I know through my dealings with him that this almost has been a bigger burden to him as the loss he has caused them."

Mr Justice Evans said the defendant launched a "murderous attack" on his partner on the night in question.

He said two aggravating features in the incident were the use of a knife and the attack taking place within earshot of his children.

"Quite how much they (the children) saw or heard is difficult to tell but I have no doubt that part of this incident occurred when they were observing it or hearing it," said the judge.

"There are mitigating factors. I bear in mind you are of good character. I accept it was not pre-planned but I'm satisfied there was no provocation.

"This arose because you were frustrated, angry and upset but not because of what she said or did to you."

After the case the victim's mother, Sally Williams, released a statement which said: "The murder conviction and sentence of Brian Lewis today can never replace the loss of my beautiful daughter Hayley Jones.

"She was a devoted mother to her four children, Jordan, Cory, Kian and Tia. She recently started work to try and improve the life of her and her family."

She said that as her daughter lay asleep, she was "cowardly attacked by the accused and left for dead" who then left their children to "see all the destruction he had left behind".

She added: "Her days of seeing her children growing up and possibly becoming a grandmother were cruelly taken from her on March 12.

"Although Hayley you are no longer with us in this life, you are always in our thoughts and you will always live on through your children. God bless."

Outside court, Detective Chief Inspector Russ Tiley of Gwent Police said: "We are satisfied with the decision of the court. It was a tragic event that had taken place and our thoughts are with the family and friends of Hayley.

"The children and family were brave throughout this process and hopefully the verdict that has been reached will now give them some closure."

He added: "I would also like to thank the officers of the major investigation team for the thoroughness of the inquiry they have taken."

Sunday, 11 December 2011


A MAN who murdered a fellow student by beating him with a dumbbell was sentenced to life in prison on the 2nd December 2011.

Emlyn Evans-Loude, 27, from Leytonstone, must serve a minimum of 17 years for killing Michal Mazur on January 11, 2011.

Evans-Loude attacked Mr Mazur with the dumbbell and a chair at his flat in Wallwood Road, Leytonstone, following a night out.

The Metropolitan University student then bagged the body and hid it in his airing cupboard before begging an acquaintance to help dump it in Epping Forest.

Police found the corpse of Mr Maxzur at the flat after he was reported missing in January.

Officers later arrested Loude in Devon, where he grew up.

Barry Graves, Crown Prosecution Service lawyer, said: “This was a particularly callous murder and there was little evidence that he acted in self-defence, as he claimed.

“Our thoughts are with Michal’s family at this difficult time and we hope this successful prosecution comes as some comfort to them.”


A Coventry woman and her partner have been given life sentences on the 5th December 2011 for murdering the father of her daughter over fears of losing custody rights.

Jason Bissell, 39, from Coventry, was struck over the head with a hammer, suffocated and left in a fishing lake.

Joanne Dawn Griffiths, 41, of Bridgeacre Gardens, was told she would serve at least 28 years by the judge at Birmingham Crown Court.

Peter Andrew Hood, 44, of Vernon's Lane in Nuneaton, was  told he would serve at least 24 years. Warwickshire Police said his minimum tariff was lower than Griffiths's because he changed his plea to guilty on the first day of his trial on 6 October and gave evidence for the prosecution in her trial.

Mr Bissell's body was discovered at Lanny's Lagoon Fishery at Stretton-under-Fosse in October 2010. He had fathered a daughter with Griffiths, who was found guilty of his murder.

'Horrific evidence'

Det Ch Insp Pete Hill said he welcomed the sentences handed out considering the "premeditated" nature of the crime.

Speaking outside the court he said: "The pathologist said that Jason had been struck nine or 10 times with a hammer.

"If that wasn't bad enough he was then bound with gaffer tape around his nose and mouth.

"He was dragged to the pond and weighted down with a rock and then they cleaned up after themselves.

"I'm pleased with the result for the family because the family has shown dignity throughout the trial.

"They've had to listen to some pretty horrific things as to how Jason died.

"I just hope it may be possible for them to start rebuilding their lives."

In a previous statement, Mr Bissell's family said: "Jason was a bright and loving dad, son brother and friend.

"His life was taken in an unbelievable way for trying to do what he knew was right."


A FACTORY worker who tormented, abused and finally murdered a helpless baby will serve at least 24 years behind bars.

On the 2nd December 2010, Darren Newton was to sentenced life imprisonment, Mr Justice Stephen Irwin said the months of cruelty inflicted on 15-month-old Charlie Hunt were ‘inexplicable’.

Newton filmed himself on his mobile phone repeatedly slapping, prodding and kicking the child while babysitting.

Eventually the blond youngster’s tiny body gave out and he collapsed and died as a result of serious brain injuries.

Following his death a serious case review was launched jointly by Lancashire and Bradford Safeguarding Children Board.

Charlie had spent the first six months of his life being monitored by social services but was not classed as ‘at risk’ at the time of his death.

Mr Justice Irwin told Newton: “Anyone who watches the video clips of some of what you did, and I am convinced you recorded only some of what you did, will genuinely struggle to understand why you came to do this.

“Eventually you killed him. It was a futile and wasteful death of an innocent toddler.

“Part of the wickedness of what you did was a complete contrast between the sympathetic and affectionate picture you presented to the outside world, to your own family and to Charlie’s mother, and the truth of how you behaved to him when you had him on your own.

“You deceived her and everyone. She will regret being deceived for the rest of her life.”

Charlie was being looked after by Newton, his mother Laura Chapman’s boyfriend, when he suddenly collapsed.

Paramedics rushed the baby to Airedale Hospital after resuscitation attempts by Newton’s parents, Ernest and Joan, who lived next door, failed. He was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

Home Office pathologist Dr Philip Lumb ruled that Charlie had suffered brain injuries which had been caused by ‘considerable force’.

Newton denied hitting Charlie on the day of his death, insisting he had appeared happy and content before he fell ill.

But checks of his mobile phone revealed a series of horrific video clips of the 15-month-old being tormented and abused, between June and November that year.

Under titles like ‘happy slap’, ‘2 minutes of pain’, and ‘no toys in pen ah’, Newton could be seen cuffing, prodding and even kicking Charlie, from behind the camera.

Charlie’s mother, who had moved to Earby from Bradford, was never present while the abuse took place.

Charlie's heartbroken mum has said she hopes Darren Newton “rots in hell”.

Laura Chapman, 30, speaking alongside Charlie’s dad Richard Hunt, 44, said her 15-month-old son had been her “everything”.

The couple, who split up when Charlie was four months old, said they had been devastated to find out that Newton had abused their son over a number of months.

Laura said: "I didn't have any suspicions about what he was doing, I was in complete shock when I found out.

“I was hysterical when I had to watch the videos - I was disgusted.

“It was extremely difficult to watch them, to see someone you love that much get hurt by someone that you trusted.

"I entrusted him with the care of the one main thing in my life and for him to do that is a betrayal of my son, myself and everything I know.

"A lot of people were asking did I know, or surely I must have known, but no I didn't.

"If I'd have known, he would never have been left with Darren - Darren wouldn't have been walking.”

Laura said that after Charlie died she and Newton were questioned by police investigating what happened to her son.

She said: "I was arrested and was horrified at first. But then I realised that the police had a job to do.”

She said that after being bailed, Darren had seemed a bit upset, “but not like other people grieve”.

"We had to go back in and I was sat in a police cell when they told me about the videos,” she said.

“I didn't believe it could be Darren at first. I actually had to watch them to believe it was him.

"I hate him, I hope he rots in hell.

Laura said she could not understand why Newton had attacked her son.

She said: "I don't know why he did it, it's been going through my head.

"He always knew that I would put Charlie first before anything else. That's the only thing that I can think of.

"In court, he said that Charlie was my entire world.

"I was quite surprised he told the truth to be honest, but he's right. He was my everything.

"Charlie was an angel. He was always very happy, he loved to play and he was a good eater and a good sleeper.

"Any mother would love to been mother of that little boy.

Laura said that before she left on the day Charlie died she had played with him and his babysitter.

Later Newton took over babysitting duties.

She said: “Darren was a bit nervous when he first started to look after him - obviously he'd had experience with his nephew and nieces, but he'd never been in a position when he had looked after a baby that young.

"When I first left Charlie with Darren it was short periods at first, to make sure that Charlie was ok with him - that he was happy with him being around.

"In court he said he resented looking after him, but I asked him every single time.

That afternoon Newton phoned Laura to say Charlie had been taken ill.

She said: "Darren said that Charlie basically had had another fit and that I needed to get to the hospital - the paramedics were downstairs with Charlie working on him.

"I was panicking just to get to the hospital.

"I went to A&E and I was taken through to a family room and Darren's mum was there crying.

"She kept saying to me I'm sorry - I tried to resuscitate him.

"Then a doctor came in, he said about resuscitation and then it is all a blur. He had died before I even got to him.”

Laura said the court case and giving evidence had been extremely difficult.

She said: "I want Darren to go down for a long time for what he has done. I want him to get locked up for life.

"There were times when I felt like I was on trial but I knew it was going to be difficult, I knew it had to be done.

"He is evil and twisted, for what he did to Charlie and for putting everyone through this.

Charlie's dad Richard Hunt said: "Newton is just an evil individual and he deserves what he gets.
"Like Laura said, I hope he gets locked away for a long time.

"I didn't know anything was going on, if I did I would have stopped it, I would have done something about it.

"When I heard about the videos I felt numb thinking what sick animal would do something like that.

"I just can't get my head around it, why somebody would do that? Why somebody like him would do this to a 15-month-old boy who can't protect himself?

"I had to walk out of court. I couldn't handle hearing my boy crying like that.

"He was crying for help and there was no-one there to help him.

Mr Hunt said he would never get over his son’s death.

He said: “He was a cheeky little monkey, always laughing with a cheeky smile. That's how I want to remember him.”

After the verdict Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said: “I was appalled and angered when I first heard the details of toddler Charlie Hunt’s death.

"We owe it to Charlie to thoroughly investigate if his death could have been prevented and also what wider lessons we can learn from this tragic incident.”

A joint statement from Nigel Burke, independent chair of Lancashire Safeguarding Children Board, and Professor Nick Frost, independent chair of Bradford Safeguarding Children Board, said: “Shortly after this child’s tragic death, we commissioned a serious case review (SCR).

“Such reviews should be undertaken when a child dies and abuse or neglect is known or suspected to be a factor, to enable the professionals to look at their involvement and learn from the case.

"As part of the review, a detailed action plan was developed which is already being implemented by the agencies involved.

"The SCR has now been completed and assessed by Ofsted. It will be published in due course.”

The judge ordered that video clips should be preserved and considered by any parole board considering Newton’s release.


1. On 16 September 2003, following a trial at the Central Criminal Court before HH Judge James Stewart QC, the defendant was convicted of the murder of Paula Injai. The defendant was sentenced to life imprisonment and, in a report written to the Lord Chief Justice, the trial judge recommended that the defendant should serve a minimum period of 14 years. I am now required under sections 269 and 276 and Schedule 22 Criminal Justice Act 2003 to set the period to be served by the defendant before the early release provisions in section 28(5)-(8) Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 apply to him,

2. The defendant was born on 7 June 1963. On 8 January 2003 he had been separated from his second wife, the deceased, for about 4 months. He had previously been convicted of assaulting Mrs Injai and was the subject of a non-molestation order. Usually the deceased agreed to take their son Isaac to visit his father in a public place but on this occasion she was persuaded to take Isaac to the defendant’s flat. The defendant had decided to kill his wife. He told a work colleague the day before that he would hear all about it afterwards. When Mrs Injai arrived with Isaac the defendant attacked her with a knife to her neck. There were 67 sites of injury from the knife and a blunt instrument. His defence, rejected by the jury, was provocation arising from an alleged attack by the deceased upon him.

4. I have received, read and considered a victim impact statement from the deceased’s daughter, Sarah Sargeson, who at a young age has been required to cease her paid employment and take on the mothering role both for her full brother and for her half-brother, Isaac.

5. I have received a short letter from the defendant who expresses his remorse for his crime.

6. I should set the minimum term by reference to the transitional provisions contained in schedule 22 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, in particular paragraphs 7 and 8. I may not, under paragraph 8, specify a part of the sentence which is greater than that which would have been notified under the practice followed by the Secretary of State before December 2002. The practice of the Secretary of State in considering murders committed between 31 May 2002 and 18 December 2003 was to follow recommendations made by the Lord Chief Justice in accordance with his Practice Statement of 31 May 2002. During that period there were ‘normal’ and ‘higher’ starting points set at 12 and 15/16 years which were varied according to features in aggravation and mitigation of the offence.

7. The starting point for this offence was 12 years. The offence was aggravated by (1) the planning which preceded it and (2) the course of conduct of which the killing was the culmination.
8. I agree with the opinion of the trial judge that the appropriate minimum term, which I now set, is 14 years less 8 months 6 days spent on remand awaiting trial.

9. The defendant should understand that this is not the maximum period he will serve. This is the period he must serve before he may be considered for parole. He will not be released if and while he remains an unacceptable risk to the public.

From Get Surrey

Warehouse worker Irenu Injai, 40, bit Paula Injai’s nose and shoulder and plunged the knife into her neck with such force the blade snapped.

He then ripped the wedding rings from her fingers and left his home in Woking, with his two-year-old child Isaac.

The Old Bailey heard how Injai had phoned up her new lover before the attack on January 8 this year to ask whether he had been having sex with his wife.

He was furious that his young son would have a new father figure because his first wife had also found a new man after they separated.

He had married Paula in 1999 but he left their home in Wimbledon Road, Camberley, after their separation in August 2002.

He was forbidden by court order from going within 500 yards of Paula’s house and would meet her to pick up his son at a local petrol station.

On January 7 Injai had told a colleague at a supermarket warehouse in Bracknell he could not afford the child support payments and was leaving work.

When asked what he meant, Injai allegedly replied: “Never you mind. Listen to the news or read about it.”

The next day, Paula, 36, went to the defendant’s home at Maybury Road with Isaac to tell him she had got together with new partner Glen Campbell.

She had received a text from her friend saying: Be strong, hope it all goes OK.

At around 10am that morning, neighbours heard screaming and a baby crying and Injai left his flat with his son later that morning.

He then made phone calls to her friends pretending not to know what had happened to her and turned up at a friend’s house with cuts to his hand.

Injai also admitted he had taken the wedding rings from his wife to sell to reduce his debt.

That evening police officers found Paula’s body lying beneath a duvet on a bed at Injai’s flat.

She had been stabbed four times in the neck, severing her major arteries, and human bite marks were found on her nose and shoulder.

Jurors saw gruesome pictures of the blood spattered and pooled on the walls, windows, carpet and curtains of the bedsit.

They found Injai guilty of murder by a unanimous verdict after only two hours deliberation.

Judge James Stewart, QC, jailed Injai for life condemning the “horrendous crime”.

“This was a brutal attack. The only sentence I can pass upon you is one of life imprisonment”.

Injai, of Maybury Road, Woking, had admitted manslaughter but denied murder.

He claimed he was provoked when Paula came at him with a knife.

After sentencing, Paula’s 19-year-old daughter, who did not want to be named, said: “My mum was a beautiful, loving and caring person who had a heart of gold. It is impossible to describe the tragedy he has caused our family.

“Although we are pleased with the court verdict, it will never bring back our mum, who we dearly miss.

“We would like to thank all the witnesses who gave evidence at court and the police for their hard work in this case and their support to our family.”

Det Chief Insp John Cox, who led the investigation, said: “The effects of murder are not limited simply to the victim. What is left behind is a trail of devastation in the lives of other people.

“Our sympathies in this case go particularly to Paula’s three children who have been deprived of their mother by this horrific act.”


1.   On 21 June 2002 at Luton Crown Court, Stephen McFaul and Anthony Cleaver were sentenced for the murder of Colin Ward.   McFaul was sentenced to imprisonment for life, and since Cleaver was not yet 21 years old, he was sentenced to custody for life.   Cleaver had pleaded not guilty to the murder, but was convicted by the jury.   McFaul had pleaded guilty to the murder.   I presided over their trial, and I subsequently recommended that McFaul should serve at least 15 years in custody, and Cleaver at least 13 years, before they could be released on licence.   The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf, agreed with the recommendation for Cleaver, but he recommended that McFaul should also serve 13 years in custody before he could be released on licence.   He thought that greater credit should be given to McFaull for his plea of guilty. 

2.   Schedule 22 to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (“the Act”) came into force on 18 December 2003. By then, the Home Secretary had not notified McFaul or Cleaver either of the minimum period which he thought they should serve before their release on licence or that he did not intend that they should ever be released on licence.   Accordingly, the Home Secretary referred their case to the High Court under para. 6 of Schedule 22 to the Act for the making of an order under sections 269(2) or 269(4) of the Act – in effect, an order that they should never be released on licence, or an order that their release on licence can be considered by the Parole Board after they have served a specified term in custody (“the minimum term”).   Section 270(1) of the Act requires me to give the reasons for such order as I make in ordinary language.
The facts:-

3.   Colin Ward was a 29 year old blind man who lived on his own in Luton.   On Friday 26 October 2001, he went to his local public house to celebrate his birthday.   He did not take his usual cab home.   It was not possible to trace his movements after he left the public house, but an hour or so after leaving it he was attacked in a car park a short distance from his home.   It was about 2.30 am. The men who attacked him were McFaul and Cleaver.   McFaull was 22 years old, and Cleaver was almost 20.
4.   At the time of the attack, McFaul and Cleaver were with two other youths (who were younger than them).   It was when the four of them were together that they came across Mr Ward.   The reason for the attack was that someone said that Mr Ward was a known sex offender.   It is not possible to say who said that.   It was untrue, but McFaul and Cleaver were not to know that.   Both of them claimed that they did not know that Mr Ward was blind.   That may be true, but the evidence was that he was stumbling around when they came across him.   Whether that was because he was disorientated (the taxi having failed to drop him off at the usual place) or because he had had too much to drink (as might have appeared to McFaul and Cleaver), anyone coming across him would have realised how vulnerable he was. 

5.   The form which the attack took was that Mr Ward was pushed to the ground.   While there he was kicked in the head a number of times, his head was stamped on and two bricks were thrown at his head.   He was in a coma for two months before contracting the bronchopneumonia from which he died.   The weight of the evidence suggested that McFaul was the more violent of the two, though it has to be said that that evidence came from one of the two youths and from what Cleaver told the police, and they would have had reason for wanting to minimise their own roles. 

6.   By his plea of guilty to murder, McFaul admitted his part in the attack on Mr Ward, but he claimed that the four of them had joined in the attack, and that Cleaver had been as violent as he had been.  A psychiatric report on him suggested that the dysfunctional environment in which he had been brought up, the history of sexual abuse to which he claimed to have been subjected when he was young, and his claim that his mother had been raped, had made him unusually hostile towards persons whom he believed were sex offenders, and particularly susceptible to being provoked into violent behaviour towards them.
7.   Cleaver’s case was that McFaul had been responsible on his own for the attack on Mr Ward.   He admitted simply to having punched Mr Ward twice in the face when he thought that Mr Ward was going to attack one of the two other youths.   However, when he had been interviewed, Cleaver had admitted having taken part in the attack on Mr Ward by kicking him while he was on the ground, although he also told the police that McFaul “did all the rest, he was mad, he was just mental, jumping on his head and everything”.   The jury’s verdict suggests that it was sure that at the very least Cleaver kicked Mr Ward in the head while Mr Ward was on the ground.

The appropriate minimum term:

8.   The minimum term which McFaul and Cleaver should serve must reflect the seriousness of their offence.   That involves choosing the appropriate starting point, and then taking into account any aggravating or mitigating factors to the extent that they were not allowed for in the choice of the appropriate starting point.
9.   Under the current law, the choice of the appropriate starting point is limited to a whole life order, 30 years or 15 years.   All murders involve the tragic loss of life, but the murder of Colin Ward did not come within any of the examples given in schedule 21 to the Act of cases for which a whole life order or a starting point of 30 years is appropriate.   That is not to say that the gratuitous violence used on a particularly defenceless man does not seriously aggravate the murder.   But it does not mean that the appropriate starting point for the minimum term in McFaul’s and Cleaver’s case should not be 15 years.
10.   The factors which aggravated the murder of Mr Ward were (i) his vulnerability, (ii) the lack of any real motive for the attack on him, (iii) the brutality and mindlessness of the attack (especially on the part of McFaul), and (iv) McFaul’s and Cleaver’s apparent unawareness at the time that they were doing anything wrong (even though by the time of their sentence they were said to be expressing contrition).   In addition, McFaul had a previous conviction for violence, namely the unlawful wounding of his son, by shaking him severely when he would not quiet down, as a result of which the baby sustained significant brain damage, for which McFaul was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment, the killing of Mr Ward occurring less than two months after his release from prison. 

11.   However, there were a number of factors which mitigated their murder of Mr Ward.   First, I do not think that they intended to kill him:  they merely intended to cause him really serious bodily injury. Secondly, the attack on Mr Ward was not planned.   It was McFaul’s spontaneous reaction to hearing that Mr Ward was supposed to be a sex offender which Cleaver decided to join.   Thirdly, Cleaver was relatively young at the time, and although he was unable to express contrition at the trial in the light of the nature of his defence, I felt throughout that he deeply regretted what had happened to Mr Ward.   Fourthly, McFaul pleaded guilty to murder (something which his counsel said was a difficult thing to do), but I am unable to tell whether that was because he was genuinely contrite or whether it represented a real assessment of the strength of the evidence against him.   Balancing all these factors, the minimum term which would now be set in their cases would be in the region of 14-15 years.
12.   But the minimum term which I must set may not be any longer than the minimum term which would have been set by the Home Secretary under the practice which the Home Secretary would have followed at the time.   Recommendations by the trial judge and the Lord Chief Justice were then based on the guidance given by the then Lord Chief Justice, Lord Bingham, in a letter he sent to judges on 10 February 1997.   But as his successor, Lord Woolf, said in Sullivan [2004] EWHC Crim 1762, the Home Secretary fixed the minimum term in accordance with the recommendation of the trial judge and the Lord Chief Justice “in the great majority of cases”.   There is nothing in this case which suggests that this would have been one of those exceptional cases in which the Home Secretary would have differed from the view expressed by Lord Woolf.   I conclude therefore that the minimum term which would have been set by the Home Secretary under the practice which he would have followed at the time would have been 13 years for both McFaul and Cleaver.  

13.   Finally, from the minimum term of 13 years which they must serve, there must be deducted the time which they spent on remand in custody prior to sentence.   That period was 7 months and 10 days in the case of McFaul and 7 months and 18 days in the case of Cleaver. 


14.   I therefore order that the early release provisions in sections 28(5)-(8) of the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 apply to McFaul and Cleaver as soon as they have served 12 years 4 months and 20 days and 12 years 4 months and 12 days of their respective sentences.   That is the minimum term which I set for their cases.

From Free Library

TWO men were jailed for life at the weekend for the murder of a blind Irishman last year.

Colin Ward, 29, from Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, who was living in Luton, was returning from birthday celebrations when he was set upon.

Luton Crown Court heard how he was beaten and left unconscious on the street near his flat.

His attackers punched and kicked him and bashed his head with bricks while he was lying on the ground. They then stole his wallet.

Mr Ward remained in a coma for a month and died without regaining consciousness at the London Royal Free Hospital last December.

Stephen McFaul, 22, from Luton, pleaded guilty to the murder but Anthony Cleaver, 21, also from Luton, denied the charge.

Sentencing, Mr Justice Keith said: "This was a vicious, mindless and brutal attack on a blind man who was totally vulnerable."

Mr Ward's brother Peter said: "We are still trying to come to terms with what happened."


On the 9th December 2011, a convicted rapist was sentenced to life imprisonment for strangling his neighbour in north-west London. 
James Citro murdered Nijole Siskeviciene, 44, in Lancelot Road, Wembley, in October 1998.
Citro, 54, of Abbots Close, Weston-super-Mare, was previously convicted of two rapes involving attempted strangulation, in Ireland 33 years ago.
Sentencing him at the Old Bailey to a minimum of 20 years, Judge David Paget called Citro a "dangerous man".
During the trial, Philip Bennetts QC, prosecuting, said Miss Siskeviciene was strangled and her body was left outside garages at the back of her home in Lancelot Road.
Citro - who changed his surname from Kennedy had been living nearby on the same road - told police officers at the time that he did not know her.
However in court, Citro admitted two offences of perverting the course of justice by writing two anonymous letters to police shortly after the murder.
One letter said "two dark men" were seen with the body while another claimed to be from an elderly person saying a "girl was carried out from a house by two black men".
The court heard detectives regarded the letters as "credible and genuine" evidence so appeals were made for the "vital witnesses" to come forwarded.
Citro was arrested in connection with the murder, in October 1998, after his DNA - which matched forensic evidence connected to the murder - was taken by police when they stopped him for drink-driving in July 2010.
Miss Siskeviciene, who had two grown-up sons and worked in the hotel trade, had only just moved into the street where she died.
                  Nijole Siskeviciene's body was found propped up outside garages.

Citro, originally from Nenagh, Co Tipperary, was jailed for 10 years for two rapes in the same area of Ireland in 1978, in which the victims were held or throttled around the neck.
Judge Paget commended one of the victims, who thought she was going be killed when she was thrown into a lake, and a garda officer for giving evidence in the murder trial.
Sentencing him to a minimum of 20 years, Judge Paget told Citro: "This case is the third time you have admitted to strangling your victim in a sexual context.
"By lying you have escaped justice for 13 years.
'Utmost respect'

"I have no doubt you are a very dangerous man."
Citro changed his name by deed poll in 2003 and is believed to have worked as a barman in the Hayes, Ealing, Hampstead and Essex areas, before moving to Weston-super-Mare in 2002.
Detectives believe Citro attacked other women and have appealed for any victims of assaults to come forward.
Det Supt Keith Niven told them: "I can assure you that you will be treated with the utmost respect and sensitivity and your information will be dealt with in the strictest confidence."


1. The defendant Andrew Cole is an existing prisoner currently serving a mandatory life sentence in respect of which a tariff period of fifteen years has been set by the Secretary of State.  He seeks a review of that minimum term.  The background to this application is a little unusual and needs to be set out.

2. The defendant has been tried twice for the murder of Fiona Ovis and William Crompton in May 1996.  The first trial took place in January 1997.  The defendant ran a defence of diminished responsibility and was convicted by the jury.  The trial judge declared himself “astonished” that jury rejected that defence but, loyal to their verdict, recommended a minimum term of fifteen years. The Lord Chief Justice of the day, in view of the trial judge’s comments as to the surprising nature of the verdict given the evidence that was called in that case, was led to recommend a shorter punitive term of ten to eleven years.

3. That conviction was set aside by the Court of Appeal principally on the ground of the availability of fresh evidence, namely a change of view by the prosecution’s expert witness who, in the light of her observations of the defendant at trial, had formed the view that he was indeed entitled to a diminished responsibility defence.  A retrial was therefore ordered. That trial took place in November 1998 and again resulted in the defence of diminished responsibility being rejected and a conviction on two counts of murder by the jury.  The trial judge on that occasion described the murders as “a particularly terrible case of two planned murders in revenge” and recommended a minimum of fifteen years.  The Lord Chief Justice, still Lord Bingham CJ, said this “had it been possible to regard this man as normal I would have considered  punitive term of at least fifteen years – probably rather longer – as a suitable minimum. As it is I find it difficult to recommend a punitive term on the assumption that this man is normal. I must however accept that two juries have convicted, and two trial judges have recommended a minimum term of fifteen years. I still feel that the real issue here is risk, not punishment, but I accept that minimum of fourteen to fifteen years may be appropriate”.

4. The Secretary of State fixed the minimum term at fifteen years.

5. The circumstances leading up to these events are bizarre.  The defendant, almost from birth, had a difficult relationship with his mother, with whom he would have little contact, and he was effectively brought up by his grandmother.  In his teens he was rebuffed by a girl in a way which has evidently caused him enormous hurt which has lasted all his life. The result was that he took to a reclusive lifestyle, literally barricading himself in his own room, and this led to his compulsory admission to psychiatric hospital where he met the first deceased.  She had problems of her own but the two were immediately attracted and entered into what was from the defendant’s point of view and intense and passionate relationship with what was his first real female friend.

6. Fiona Ovis then formed a relationship with another man, the second deceased in this case, which devastated the defendant. He sought the help of his social worker and was readmitted to hospital. The murders occurred within thirty hours of his being released from this second period of hospitalisation.

7. Taking a small collection of items with him which included a knife, fuel, tape, cord and a tape recorder he went to the place where he knew he would find the two deceased.  By inserting the tape recorder he persuaded himself that he could hear sounds of love-making. He broke into the house and in a frenzied attack inflicted fifty two wounds on Fiona Ovis and thirty eight on her lover. These included significant wounds to their private parts. He then took a car from the house and drove to the local hospital where he admitted what he had done.

8. There was no dispute but that the defendant suffered from a paranoid personality disorder of the obsessive/compulsive type at the time of these events. The issue was whether his responsibility for what he did was substantially impaired and the verdict of two juries was that it was not.  That said, he was on any view a deeply damaged personality at the relevant time.

9. Judicial review proceedings were taken in respect to the Secretary of State’s decision to set the tariff at fifteen years.  The point at issue was that in setting that tariff he was effectively passing sentence on the defendant, and therefore acting in contravention of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 schedule 2 paragraph 2 which prohibits the passing of a more severe sentence on a retrial than was passed at the original trial.  That argument was based on the courts decision in Lea  [2002]  EWCA Crim 215.

10. In the Divisional Court’s judgment in the judicial review proceedings ( R v Cole and Others [2003] EWHC179 (Admin)) that argument was rejected, on the basis that the schedule of the 1968 Act would not apply to the Secretary of  State in his tariff-setting capacity.  Giving the judgment of the court Lord Justice Rose said at 35 “the High Court can be expected to take into account the terms of Lord Woolfs’ judgment in Lea, and the fact that judicial review of the Secretary of States decision has been sought here.  I would accordingly dismiss Coles’ application”.

11. In written submissions on behalf of the defendants it is argued that the tariff should be reviewed back to the original figure of eleven years on the grounds that there was no change in the evidence in the second trial as compared with the first which pointed to there being any greater severity attaching to the underlying offences.  Indeed, if anything in the second trial the psychiatric evidence was more heavily in favour of the defendant than it was in the first.  The only thing that has changed, and which appeared to influence the judgment of the Lord Chief Justice, was that yet another jury had rejected the defendant’s argument, the burden being on him to establish diminished responsibility. I, however, have to consider the seriousness of the offence and the culpability of the defendant and those have not changed since the Secretary of States first tariff setting exercise.  I see force in that argument.

12. As to whether in exercising my current view function I am myself bound by the terms of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 Schedule 2 Paragraph 2 (1) a more difficult question arises.  That sub section reads “(1) where a person ordered to be retried is again convicted on retrial, the court before which he is convicted may pass in respect of the offence any sentence authorised by law, not being a sentence of greater severity than that passed on  the original conviction”.

13. The issue is whether exercising this jurisdiction I come within the definition of “the court before which he is convicted…”. The 1968 Act when passed could not be expected to embrace the changes that have occurred since that date, in relation to the setting of life sentence tariffs and  judicial oversight of the same.  It seems to me, however, consistent with the House of Lords seminal decision in Anderson [2003] 1 AC 837 that it can strongly be argued that the tariff-fixing exercise, in which I am engaged in this judgment, is legally indistinguishable from the original imposition of the sentence.  If therefore my decision turned on it I would regard myself as inhibited by the 1968 Act from increasing the tariff figure.

14. My decision however does not depend on this point.  I believe that the arguments advanced on behalf of the defendants are persuasive, and that, notwithstanding the appalling nature of this double murder, considering the then relevant guidance from Lord Bingham in his letter of the 10th February 1997 the outstanding feature of the case acting in reduction of his starting point of fourteen years is the obvious sub-normality or mental abnormality of the defendant, which alone is sufficient to require a significant reduction from that starting point down to eleven years.

15. For these reasons I therefore direct that the early release provisions shall apply to these sentences but that the defendant should not be considered for release until a minimum term of eleven years has passed.  From that term the time spent on remand in custody namely twenty nine months and twenty six days shall be deducted.

From BBC

The mother of a murdered teenager has welcomed plans to give victims' families the chance to speak in court before their killers are sentenced.

Wendy Crompton's son William, 18, and girlfriend Fiona Ovis were murdered by Andrew Cole in Llandrindod Wells.

A UK government consultation paper proposes bereaved relatives address judges before sentencing.

Mrs Crompton said she had been frustrated by being unable to speak at Cole's 1997 trial and later retrial.


Mr Justice Grigson:
1. Abdalla Yones pleaded guilty to murder and consequently was sentenced to imprisonment for life.  The recommendation as to the minimum term to be served by way of retribution and general deterrence was 14 years.  No final decision has been notified to the offender.  The purpose of these proceedings is to set the minimum term under the provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

2. The term fixed under the Act must not exceed that likely to have been set by the Secretary of State for the Home Department.  That term is to be determined by reference to the Guidance to Judges given by Lord Bingham CJ on 10th February 1997 and by Lord Woolf CJ on the 31st May 2002.
3. The Court may not make an order that the early release provisions should not apply to the offender unless such a notification would have been made under the practice followed by the Secretary of State before December 2002.
4. The determination of the minimal term in relation to mandatory Life sentences is governed by Schedule 22 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.
5. The starting point of a minimum term is to be decided by the seriousness of the offender’s conduct.
6. There are 3 categories of seriousness:
(a) Where the offender is over 21 and the seriousness of his conduct is exceptionally high, the starting point is a whole life order.
(b) Where the offender is over 18 and the seriousness of his conduct is particularly high, the starting point is 30 years.
(c) Where the offender is over 18 and the case does not come within (a) or (b) above, the starting point is 15 years.
7. The seriousness of the offender’s conduct is to be determined by the criteria set out in paragraph 4(2) for exceptionally high cases and in paragraph 5(2) for particularly high cases.  Conduct which does not qualify for either comes into the third category.
8. Having determined the starting point, the Court may either increase the minimum term or reduce it, depending upon whether there are aggravating or mitigating factors.  Some of these factors are listed in paragraphs 10 and 11.
9. Having fixed the minimum term the Court must deduct from it time spent in custody on remand in relation to the murder. 
10. If the offender has shown exceptionally good progress whilst in prison, that progress may be recognised by a reduction in the minimum term which would otherwise have been chosen.
11. Where there is evidence of the effect of the murder upon the victim’s family, the Court gives proper consideration to that material.

12. Facts

On 12th October 2002 Abdella Yones stabbed to death his 16 year old daughter Heshu in the flat where the family lived.  It was a frenzied attack.  Heshu suffered 11 wounds to her face, neck and body.  He then tried to  cut his own throat before jumping from a 3rd floor balcony.  He made a further attempt to take his own life whilst in custody awaiting trial.
Abdella Yones is a Kurdish national who had spent most of his life involved in the Kurdish struggle for independence.  He brought his family to the UK when Heshu was 5.  He sought and was granted asylum.  Heshu went to local schools.  Abdella Yones was a loving father and he and Heshu got on well.  Heshu formed a relationship with a young Lebanese Christian.  Abdella Yonis became aware of it but not that it had become a sexual relationship.  Hesu’s progress at college deteriorated.  She failed her examinations.  She incurred substantial bills with use of her mobile phone.  On 10th October 2002 Abdella Yones received an anonymous letter in which the author described Heshu as a prostitute and slut who regularly slept with her boyfriend.  Abdella Yones did nothing immediately, but on 12th October he was left alone with Heshu in the flat.  He heard her on her mobile phone.  He has no recollection of how he acquired the knife nor of the actual attack on Heshu.  He recognised that he had killed his daughter and had destroyed his family.  He felt that the appropriate punishment was death.  The judge accepted those feelings as genuine.
13. Material before the Court
 Trial Judge’s Report.
 Transcript of Mitigation and Sentence Remarks
 Submissions on behalf of Abdella Yones.

14. Submissions
 Whilst submissions by Steel and Shamash Solicitor’s largely repeated Counsel’s mitigation, it is argued that the 14 years recommended by the judge was too high and that the proper figure should be 9 or 10 years.  They point out that the offender pleaded guilty.
15. Aggravating Features
 The victim was a child of 16 and the daughter of the offender.
16.  Mitigating Factors
 It would seem that the murder was unpremeditated.  It is arguable that Heshu’s conduct provoked her father.  His remorse was genuine.

17. Conclusion

 Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 the starting point is 15 years.  A starting point of 14 years is easily justified under the Bingham/Woolf guidelines.  This was a terrible crime as Abdalla Yones himself recognised.  In my judgment there is no compelling reason for departing from the recommendation of the trial judge.  I set the minimum term as 14 years less the 7 months and 6 days spent in custody on remand.

From BBC

Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 September, 2003, 01:58 GMT 02:58 UK

'Honour killing' father begins sentence Abdalla Yones
Heshu's father Abdalla cut his own throat after killing his daughter

A Muslim man is beginning a life sentence for murdering his daughter because he disapproved of her Christian boyfriend.

Abdullah Yones admitted stabbing 16-year-old Heshu to death at their home in Acton, west London.

The Old Bailey heard Kurdish Abdalla Yones, 48, murdered Heshu on 12 October 2002 because he feared she was becoming westernised.

He pleaded for the court to pass the death sentence on him for his "appalling" crime after he tried to take his own life.

'Strong punch'

Heshu, who was described as popular and fun-loving, planned to run away from home after starting a relationship with an 18-year-old Lebanese teacher.

In a letter to her parents, apparently showing she planned to run away, Heshu wrote: "Bye Dad, sorry I was so much trouble.

Violence in the name of culture will not be tolerated Detective Inspector Brent Hyatt

"Me and you will probably never understand each other, but I'm sorry I wasn't what you wanted, but there's some things you can't change.

"Hey, for an older man you have a good strong punch and kick.

"I hope you enjoyed testing your strength on me, it was fun being on the receiving end. Well done."

Yones was a political refugee who fled Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq 10 years ago.

Cut his throat

The court heard that after repeatedly stabbing his daughter and slitting her throat, he cut his own throat and jumped from a third floor balcony.

Scotland Yard described it as a "brutal honour killing" - a reference to the practice of women being killed by male relatives to redeem the family name.

Commander Andy Baker holds a photograph of Heshu
Photographs and a letter by Heshu were released by police
Detective Inspector Brent Hyatt said: "There was nothing, nothing at all 'honourable' about her murder.

"After hacking his daughter to death, Mr Yones has attempted every defence, from psychiatric, and diminished responsibility to extreme provocation, in order to save his own skin."

He added that Yones first claimed al-Qaeda members had broken into the flat, murdered Heshu and then attacked him. He only admitted murdering her last Monday.

Yones's counsel, Icah Peart QC, said his client wanted to be sentenced to death.

Judge Neil Denison said Yones had tried to commit suicide twice but told him he would pass the only sentence he could for murder - life imprisonment.

This is, on any view, a tragic story arising out of irreconcilable cultural differences between traditional Kurdish values and the values of western society
Judge Neil Denison

UK Muslims condemn 'honour killings'
He added: "This is, on any view, a tragic story arising out of irreconcilable cultural differences between traditional Kurdish values and the values of western society."

But Scotland Yard warned the sentence should be a warning to those who condone or stay silent about the mistreatment of women in their communities.

Commander Andy Baker added: "Violence in the name of culture will not be tolerated. Murder in the name of honour will be punished by the severest penalties available in law."

Scotland Yard believe there were 12 'honour killings' in the UK last year and said they were not restricted to Muslims, but also occurred in Sikh and Christian families.

A specialist police unit is researching the practice but police say only a handful of people believed 'honour killings' were an appropriate cultural response.

Mr Baker said people who had tried to shield Abdalla Yones from police could now be investigated on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

"We are completely satisfied that some members of the community, or his friends, tried to assist him in that cover-up," he said.

"It's not about one person committing the murder, it's about the few that acknowledge it and support it and are involved in it."