Birmingham & Black Country

Mark Masefield manslaughter sentence appeal dismissed

Mark Masefield
Image caption Mark Masefield handed himself in to West Midlands Police in July 2011

A man jailed for killing his friend almost 25 years ago has had his appeal rejected at the High Court in London.

Mark Masefield, 44, was sentenced to 11-and-a-half years in January after admitting the manslaughter of 17-year-old Anthony Pryke.

The teenager's body was found in drains at his home in Chelmsley Wood in the West Midlands in December 1987.

An appeal by Masefield's lawyers to reduce his sentence was dismissed by Mr Justice Griffith Williams.

Masefield handed himself in to police in July 2011.

At his trial at Birmingham Crown Court, he claimed he had killed his friend with a scaffolding pole in self-defence during a drunken row.

Masefield was originally accused of murder, which he denied, but that charge was not pursued by the prosecution.

It had been thought Anthony had climbed into the drainage shaft and died after being suffocated by sewer fumes. An inquest recorded an open verdict.

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