Two robbers who were jailed for the brutal murder of a Colchester man have had their minimum jail terms reduced.New evidence? Well, no. The facts of the case are pretty clear:
Graham Reeve, 55, was beaten, tied up and strangled at his flat in Charles Pell Road in July last year as his robbers tried to get him to tell them his bank card PIN.Some might say that wasn't long enough. But they don't get elevated to judgehood, clearly.
In May, after being convicted of murder at Chelmsford Crown Court, Jon Richard Williams, 23, and Danny Howsego, 37, were jailed for at least 32 years each.
But, after an appeal by their lawyers, Lord Justice Thomas, Mr Justice Silber and Mrs Justice Sharp, sitting at London’s Court of Appeal, said the terms were too long and cut them to 29 years.Wait, what?
Lord Justice Thomas said the case was different from those in which victims were truly tortured by their attackers, wielding weapons, cutting off body parts and burning with cigarettes.
We are constantly told that having the prison cell lights on for too long, the air con turned down too low, a barking dog (safely leashed) at your feet or a threat to release your name to your former terrorist chums is 'torture', according to the lawyers dealing with the extraordinary rendition cases at Gitmo.Whew! That's all right th...
So how, in the name of all that's holy, could being tied to a chair and beaten not be torture?
Well, the reasoning is...interesting. Let's hear from the panel:
Lord Justice Thomas said: “It is unfortunate that, in today’s society, these courts see what one might properly describe as torture, of the kind people would be more accustomed to seeing in the cinema or in history books.Unless you cut bits off people, it's not torture. Are you listening, interrogators at Gitmo?
“This is not that case. Although it is clear he was subjected, over a period of time, to a number of blows and was tied up, he was not tortured in the sense we have described.
“Secondly, it seems to us that, although it is true they must have sat down and planned to kill him to prevent detection, nonetheless this was not a premeditated murder in the sense of having been carefully planned ahead of time.”
And if you decide to kill someone on the spur of the moment because you realise the consequences of letting them live after you've tortu - sorry, after you've applied 'forceful persuasion', that's not premeditated enough, so we'll take three years off your tariff...
Still, don't worry! The State isn't about to take risks with any more innocent lives:
Neither will be released after serving their minimum terms unless they can convince the Parole Board they are no longer a public danger.
He idolised Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe and repeatedly admitted his horrific bloodlust to psychiatrists, yet he was not locked up to protect the public because he was seen as ‘bad’ rather than ‘mentally ill’.
He even told a probation officer he would kill when he reached his 30s – and he did.