Baroness Newlove 'was not told' husband Garry's killer was free

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Media caption,

"No-one told me my husband's killer was in my home town"

Former Victims' Commissioner Baroness Newlove has said it is a "disgrace" she was never told one of her husband's killers was let out in his home town.

Baroness Newlove, whose husband Garry was killed by a gang in Warrington in 2007, said she felt "physically sick" when she found out.

She said it was a "pure mockery" that she was not informed Jordan Cunliffe was allowed back home prior to parole.

The Ministry of Justice said it had indicated he would be released.

Baroness Newlove, who served as commissioner from 2012 until 2019, said she found out Cunliffe was in an open prison near Warrington the day before she was about to receive an award in the town for her work with victims of crime.

Inmates of open prisons can be allowed out into nearby towns if they are due for parole.

"I felt it was a disgrace to Garry. I work and live in Warrington and so do my family," said the baroness.

Image source, Cheshire Police
Image caption,
Garry Newlove was murdered in 2007

She added: "It made me physically sick - it was a mockery of Garry.

"I was told he had been out in Warrington - he could even have attended the ceremony where I was due to receive an award if he wanted to."

'Kicked like a football'

She said she only found out when she attended Cunliffe's parole hearing in Warrington.

Mr Newlove, a 47-year-old salesman, was killed when he confronted a gang of youths that had vandalised his wife's car in August 2007.

During the attack, he was kicked "like a football" in front of his daughters, a court heard.

Cunliffe, Adam Swellings and Stephen Sorton were jointly convicted of his murder in 2008 under joint enterprise legislation which allows a group to be prosecuted for murder when it cannot be proved which individual inflicted the fatal blow.

Sorton has also been moved to an open prison in preparation for parole.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Jordan Cunliffe was one of three convicted of Mr Newlove's deatrh

Cunliffe, who suffers from an eye condition which means he has been registered blind, was ordered to serve at least 12 years behind bars.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "Our understanding is that the family were informed that Jordan Cunliffe was to be released on what is known as ROTL - 'Release on Temporary Licence'.

"This would have been a general notification - the family would not have been given times or dates relating to his release, but they were made aware this was happening..."

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