Saturday, 3 December 2011


A PSYCHOPATHIC Satanist, given a 'life means life' sentence for strangling his cell mate whilst already serving life for murder, has had that cut to 20 years by top judges on appeal.

The move came despite the admission that double killer, Clement McNally, is likely to pose the gravest risk to others for the rest of his life.

Dad-of-one Anthony Hesketh, of Eastham Way, Worsley, who was in custody for a driving offence and facing drugs charges, was found dead with a ligature made of T-shirt material around his neck in September 2003, on the floor of the Strangeways cell he shared with McNally.

McNally, 34, a devil worshiper who decorated his cell with satanic symbols and suffers from a toxic brew of psychopathic, narcissistic, paranoid and obsessive-compulsive disorders, all mixed together - was serving a mandatory life term for stabbing to death his friend, Arthur Skelly, outside a party in Ashton under Lyne in July 2002.

He was given a life term, with a whole life tariff, for thesecond killing, after pleading guilty to manslaughter by way of diminished responsibility at Manchester Crown Court on July 12 2004.

But now the minimum term on his life sentence has been slashed to 20 years by Lord Justice Hughes, at London's Criminal Appeal Court.

The judge said it was not right that McNally should be denied a light at the end of the tunnel and never have a chance of release.

McNally, who was prescribed anti-depressants and mood-stabilisers, had told a psychiatrist after being jailed for Mr Skelly's murder that he had worshipped the devil for two years and had been allowed to read books on the occult while in prison, some of which came from the prison library.

Satanic symbols

His cell was adorned with satanic symbols, including a pentagram and an inverted cross.

Nevertheless petty criminal, Mr Hesketh, was locked up with him and met his death through the man who called himself 'the hands and eyes of Satan.'

Lord Justice Hughes, sitting with Mr Justice MacKay and Mr Justice Davis, said of Mr Hesketh's killing: "McNally had no particular grievance against his victim - he simply suffered an urge to kill him.

"He said it was exciting - better than sex. He said Satan told him to do things and it was his job to do as he was told.

"He said he was not in the least bit sorry for what he had done, but had derived a great deal of pleasure from subsequently thinking about it.

"He suffers from compulsive homicidal urges and poses an exceptional risk to other prisoners. He made it perfectly clear that he would kill again if the opportunity arose and the urge to kill was of sufficient intensity."

However the judge said it was wrong not to give McNally the chance of being freed if, at some point in the future, his mental state stabilises to the extent that the authorities no longer consider him a danger to society.

He told the court: "The life sentence was plainly correct as he was likely to represent a danger of the gravest kind, for a period which could not be determined.

"However the imposition of a whole life tariff was a mistaken application of the process of sentencing.

"The life sentence itself is designed to cater for a prisoner in whom it cannot be seen when, or if ever, they will cease to be a danger to the public.


"The Parole Board will not release a prisoner under a life sentence until it is convinced that they no longer pose a danger to the public.

"The minimum term should be set on the basis of the severity of what the offender has done and his level of culpability for it.

"If this man never ceases to be a danger, he will never be released.

"But what cannot be known is whether his condition will change in the future.

"Accordingly, we set aside the order, declining to set a minimum term, and the question of his dangerousness now and in the future is reserved to the Parole Board.

"His culpability was plainly reduced because he was in the mentally abnormal condition that he was, but the circumstances and gravity of the acts were considerable.

"It was a second homicide within about 15 months. It was a pointless killing, generated simply to satisfy an internal impulse.

"The appropriate course now is to set a minimum term which takes account of both the murder and manslaughter offences. We arrive at a minimum term of 20 years.

"However, the plainest evidence of the absence of a risk would be needed before any consideration could be given to his release.

"It may very well be that there is never sufficient evidence of an absence of danger, but those decisions lie in the future and, to that extent, this appeal is allowed," the judge concluded.