Liverpool

Kevin Bennett murder: Court rejects bid to cut sentence

Connor Doran, Brandon Doran and Simon Evans Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption (L-R) Connor Doran, Brandon Doran and Simon Evans were sentenced in 2013 for the murder of Kevin Bennett

A teenager convicted of beating a homeless man to death at the age of 14 has failed in a High Court bid to have his sentenced reduced.

Simon Evans, now 19, and two friends were convicted of murdering 53-year-old Kevin Bennett following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court in February 2013.

Evans wanted his minimum term of eight years reduced but a High Court judge ruled against him after a review.

Mr Justice Goose said he still poses a risk to the public.

He concluded there were not "sufficient grounds" for reducing the minimum term imposed by trial judge Clement Goldstone.

Judge Goldstone had ruled Evans should stay in custody until at least February 2021.

There had not been a "significant reduction" in the level of risk Evans posed, Mr Justice Goose said.

Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption Kevin Bennett was attacked as he slept rough outside a supermarket in Liverpool in 2012

During the trial jurors heard how Evans and two of his friends, brothers Connor Doran, then 17, and Brandon Doran, then 14, attacked Mr Bennett as he slept rough outside a supermarket in Liverpool in August 2012.

Prosecutors said Connor Doran had goaded Evans by saying: "I bet you haven't got it in you to do him in."

Evans later said "I started kicking him, I booted him and now he's dead", jurors heard.

Brandon Doran stood as the look-out as the attack took place, the trial was told.

Mr Justice Goose said Justice Secretary David Lidington had asked him to examine the case after Evans requested a review of the minimum term.

He said Mr Bennett had been a "defenceless victim" but it was important to remember that Evans had been "very young" and mentally "immature".

The trial judge had described Connor Doran as the "leader of the pack" as he was jailed for a minimum of 12 years.

Brandon Doran was given a minimum term of six years.

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