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Garry Newlove killer's renewed sentence reduction bid rejected

Jordan Cunliffe Image copyright Cheshire Constabulary
Image caption Jordan Cunliffe was a teenager when he killed Garry Newlove in 2007

A man who murdered a father of three outside his home has lost a renewed bid to be released early from prison.

Jordan Cunliffe was 16 when he was jailed for a minimum of 12 years in 2008 after Garry Newlove, 47, was kicked to death in Warrington in 2007.

Mr Newlove died in hospital two days after being attacked by three people.

Dismissing the case, High Court judges said the decision was based on his progress in jail not on a statement by Mr Newlove's widow at his 2015 appeal.

Victim statement 'irrelevant'

Cunliffe, 24, initially appealed against his sentence last May but his application was refused after Mr Justice Mitting considered the victim personal statement made by Victims' Commissioner Baroness Helen Newlove.

The court heard Baroness Newlove's statement was withheld from Cunliffe and his lawyers, at her own request. His legal team claimed that was "unlawful".

Giving judgement , Lord Justice Bean and Mrs Justice Carr ruled the statement was "irrelevant to the decision".

Image copyright Cheshire Consatbulary
Image caption Garry Newlove confronted vandals outside his Warrington home

Lord Justice Bean said: "I consider that the victim personal statement in this case should not have been considered by [Mr Justice Mitting] if Baroness Newlove was unwilling to have it disclosed.

"The procedure adopted was, to this extent, unfair. It would have been unfair even if the murder victim's widow was not a member of the House of Lords and did not hold the post of Victims' Commissioner."

In the case heard last year, Mr Justice Mitting found Cunliffe's progress in prison had been "good, it had not been exceptional".

For this reason, Lord Justice Bean said the original finding to reject the bid was "not only correct, but inevitable".

Cunliffe can apply for parole at the end of his 12-year term in 2019.

Mr Newlove suffered head injuries in the attack by Cunliffe, Adam Swellings, then 19, and Stephen Sorton, then 17, who were jointly convicted of his murder.

Mr Newlove had left his Warrington house to confront youths who had vandalised his wife's car.

During the short confrontation he was kicked "like a football", the trial of his killers heard.

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