THE mum of a Wigan teenager jailed for a notorious murder appears in a new online film calling for a law change that would free him.
Janet Cunliffe says she will never give up the fight to prove son Jordan’s innocence. But unless the law does change or he admits guilt, the young man will spend the rest of his life behind bars for his part in the death of Warrington dad Garry Newlove.
Mr Newlove was beaten to death outside his home in 2007 after remonstrating with a gang he believed had damaged his car.
Cunliffe, then 16, was along with Adam Swellings and Stephen Sorton, sentenced to life imprisonment at Chester Crown Court.
This was despite his not having touched Mr Newlove. Cunliffe was “guilt by association” because he was there, part of the gang that killed the dad of three and did nothing to prevent it.
But Pemberton-born Mrs Cunliffe says her son did not see what happened because he has a degenerative eye condition which severely blurs his vision.
And there is growing support for such causes. Award-winning writer Jimmy McGovern is penning a new drama on the theme with the Newlove case in mind and has championed Cunliffe’s innocence.
Mrs Cunliffe is also a member of JENGbA - Joint Enterprise Not Guilty By Association - which was set up by the families who feel their jailed relatives have suffered a similar miscarriage.
It is they who have produced the new 18-minute film in which Mrs Cunliffe appears along with relatives supporting the call.
She said: “It is not so much about the details of each family’s cases as the experiences they are going through because of these injustices.
“I explain how I couldn’t believe that it was only us that it happened to and how I was shocked when I came into contact with other people and just how badly the law can be used against someone.”
Cunliffe was told he would serve a minimum of 12 years but under the present law he won’t be released unless he admits guilt in prison.
Mrs Cunliffe said: “He’s not prepared to confess to something he didn’t do.”
Meanwhile solicitor John Weat, who represented jailed Liverpool fan Michael Shields, is helping to prepare a new appeal for Cunliffe.
To see the film go to http://jengba.blogspot.com/2011/06/joint-enterprise-film-2011.html