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Murderer launches first "whole life" appeal in wake of European rights ruling.

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Murderer launches first "whole life" appeal in wake of European rights ruling.

Post  Panda on Wed 21 Aug - 17:11

Murderer lodges first 'whole life' appeal in wake of European human rights ruling
A triple murderer has lodged the first challenge of a “life means life” jail sentence following a controversial ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, in a move which could force ministers to water down the way Britain’s most heinous criminals are punished.

Triple murderer Arthur Hutchinson Photo: NEVILLE PYNE
By David Barrett, Home Affairs Correspondent
9:15PM BST 20 Aug 2013
279 Comments
Arthur Hutchinson is serving a “whole life” tariff for stabbing a wealthy couple to death after breaking into their home on the night of their daughter’s wedding, then killing one of their sons and repeatedly raping another wedding guest.

Strasbourg judges ruled last month that a tariff which forces murderers to die in jail was “inhuman and degrading” following an appeal by three killers including Jeremy Bamber, who shot dead five members of his family in 1985.

Now Hutchinson has become the first killer to capitalise on the ruling and attempt to have his own sentence declared a breach of his human rights.

Legal experts feared the initial challenge by Bamber and two other killers would lead to a deluge of similar claims, at great expense to the taxpayer, by all 49 killers and rapists serving whole life tariffs, as well as other murderers handed long sentences.

Hutchinson’s legal bid has emerged within just six weeks of the Strasbourg ruling.

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The British government has already been asked to provide an official response to Hutchinson’s claim, which could lead to a full hearing next year. If, as expected, judges rule in his favour Hutchinson could ultimately win the right to be freed.

Dominic Raab MP, who is campaigning for human rights reform, said: “You couldn’t get a better example of a case where ‘life should mean life’.

“UK democratic accountability over our criminal justice system is yet again being threatened by the insatiable appetite of the Strasbourg court.

“Parliament must rebuff any further mission creep from these unaccountable European judges.”

Hutchinson’s trial heard he broke into the home of Basil and Avril Laitner in October 1983, armed with an eight inch bowie knife.

Just hours after the family had celebrated the wedding of elder daughter Suzanne, Hutchinson killed Mr Laitner, 59, a solicitor, and his wife, 55, in a frenzied attack. Mrs Laitner was stabbed 26 times.

Their son Richard was also slain at their home in Dore, Sheffield.

Hutchinson took an 18 year-old woman who was staying at the house from her bed at knifepoint. Bragging that he had already slain the Laitners and forcing her walk through a pool of blood, he took the teenager to a marquee in the grounds where she was tied up and raped.

The killer fled leaving the young woman bound in her bedroom.

Hutchinson went on the run for weeks and dubbed himself “The Fox” but was traced and convicted thanks to the rape victim's testimony and a wealth of forensic evidence, including his palm print on a bottle of champagne at the wedding reception.

The killer was wanted for rape at the time of the attacks on the Laitners and had already served five years’ imprisonment for the attempted murder of his brother-in-law.

The judge at Hutchinson’s trial at Durham Crown Court ruled that he should serve 18 years but then home secretary Leon Brittan later ruled he should face the whole life tariff.

Hutchinson, now 73, who is originally from Hartlepool, has already brought a challenge against the tariff in the British courts.

Just five years ago the Court of Appeal ruled there was “no reason at all” to depart from the whole life tariff.

Mr Justice Tugendhat said: “These were exceptionally serious murders, and it is right that the applicant should remain in prison for the rest of his life by way of punishment.”

Despite a thorough examination of Hutchinson’s sentence by British judges the Strasbourg court’s decision will allow Hutchinson and others to bring new challenges under human rights laws.

The European court’s ruling proposed that those serving life with no possibility of parole should instead have their cases reviewed after 25 years, following which they could be freed if they persuaded a panel they were no longer a danger to the public.

The appeal was brought by Bamber and two other killers - Douglas Vintner, who stabbed his wife to death less than three years after being released from prison for a previous muuder; and Peter Moore, a serial killer.

Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, said at the time it made him more determined to “curtail” the Strasbourg court’s role in this country’s legal affairs.

Responding to the latest development Mr Grayling said: "I have repeatedly made clear how profoundly I disagree with the recent ruling by the European court.

"Our judges should be able to tell those who commit the most heinous crimes imaginable that they may never be released.

"To be told this breaches human rights is absurd – and an insult to those who wrote the original human rights convention. What about the rights of the victims and their families?

"I continue to strongly believe that whole life tariffs are appropriate for the worst murder cases. This is why I want wholesale reforms to our human rights laws."

It is feared the Strasbourg ruling will have an even wider impact than first feared because it could create sentencing discrepancies for other murderers who, although not on whole life tariffs, are serving terms of more than 25 years.

It could mean killers such as Ian Huntley, the Soham murderer, and Roy Whiting, who murdered eight year-old Sarah Payne in 2000, could bring challenges in the future.

Hutchinson’s fresh appeal is likely to be accepted by the European judges in light of their decision on the Bamber case, said Kirsty Brimelow QC, chairwoman of the Bar Human Rights Committee.

“I’m not surprised there is another appeal on the back of the earlier case,” she said.

“We would expect the judges to be consistent with the principles enunciated in the Bamber appeal, namely that every prisoner is entitled to have their sentence reviewed.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10255239/Murderer-lodges-first-whole-life-appeal-in-wake-of-European-human-rights-ruling.html

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Re: Murderer launches first "whole life" appeal in wake of European rights ruling.

Post  kitti on Wed 4 Sep - 8:53

We should off hung them instead then they wouldn't off wasted OUR money appealing their sentences..


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Re: Murderer launches first "whole life" appeal in wake of European rights ruling.

Post  Panda on Wed 4 Sep - 9:03

kitti wrote:We should off hung them instead then they wouldn't off wasted OUR money appealing their sentences..

Morning kitti , yes, it seems these criminals are using the Human Rights Courts, the sooner we get out of the EU the better, but cowardly Cameron put back the date of a Referendum until 2017....I hope he doesn't get elected again and think he has made so many gaffes, if it looks as though the Conservatives will not win, he will be ousted by his own Party.

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Re: Murderer launches first "whole life" appeal in wake of European rights ruling.

Post  wjk on Wed 4 Sep - 12:31

"Now Hutchinson has become the first killer to capitalise on the ruling and attempt to have his own sentence declared a breach of his human rights"

OMFG!!  
You'd think this was a bl**dy wind up if you didn't know any different!!

The guy was already wanted when he committed these murders and he may be set free!!

"The killer was wanted for rape at the time of the attacks on the Laitners and had already served five years’ imprisonment for the attempted murder of his brother-in-law."


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Re: Murderer launches first "whole life" appeal in wake of European rights ruling.

Post  Panda on Wed 4 Sep - 16:05

wjk wrote:"Now Hutchinson has become the first killer to capitalise on the ruling and attempt to have his own sentence declared a breach of his human rights"

OMFG!!  
You'd think this was a bl**dy wind up if you didn't know any different!!

The guy was already wanted when he committed these murders and he may be set free!!

"The killer was wanted for rape at the time of the attacks on the Laitners and had already served five years’ imprisonment for the attempted murder of his brother-in-law."

The sooner we leave the EU and opt out of Human Rights the better.....it is making a mockery of our justice system

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Re: Murderer launches first "whole life" appeal in wake of European rights ruling.

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