Nottingham murderer Rickell Patterson's sentence cut again

  • Published
Rickell PattersonImage source, Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption,
Rickell Patterson will now be eligible for parole in the summer

A man who stabbed a journalist to death after he got in the way of his bicycle has had his sentence cut for a second time following an appeal.

Rickell Patterson was aged 16 when he murdered Timothy Smith in Nottingham.

He was riding his BMX on the pavement in 2007 and lost his temper when Mr Smith, who was waiting for a bus, accidentally stepped into his path.

A judge has reduced Patterson's sentence by nine months, saying he had made exceptional progress in jail.

Patterson, now 27, was originally jailed for 14 years but the sentence was reduced to 12 years in 2008.

It means he would be eligible to apply for parole in the summer.

He was convicted of murder at Nottingham Crown Court on 4 December 2007, with the killing described as a "senseless and unprovoked" attack.

Mr Smith, a former Rutland Times reporter, was on his way home from the library at the time of the attack, the court heard.

Image caption,
Timothy Smith's family said the murder left them heartbroken

Mr Justice Langstaff said on Thursday that Patterson had demonstrated progress through his work as a "listener, mentor and equalities representative".

The judge said: "Nothing I say in reviewing the tariff will reduce the seriousness of the murder he committed nor diminish the consequences of it for the victim's friends and family.

"However what I have to do is consider whether during his period in custody the applicant has demonstrated exceptional and unforeseen progress."

He said as a result of Patterson's progress there had been a "significant reduction in the level of risk posed to public safety".

Mr Smith's family said at the time of the death the murder had left them "shattered" and "heartbroken".

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