Member of killer gang blows chance of release by boozing in his cell

The widow of a man beaten to death by youths has voiced her fury after it emerged that one attacker partied with booze in his cell at the prospect of imminent release.
Jordan Cunliffe at the time of his covictionJordan Cunliffe at the time of his coviction
Jordan Cunliffe at the time of his coviction

Jordan Cunliffe - whose Wigan mum Janet is still fighting to prove his innocence, saying it was wrong for him to be convicted under “joint enterprise” laws because he is partially-sighted and didn’t physically attack Garry Newlove - was recommended for parole earlier this year.

But when he threw a party in his cell at the open prison to which he had been moved, this prompted a Parole Board U-turn and he was sent back to a higher category of prison.

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However it has since emerged that the 28-year-old - who was 16 at the time of the 2007 fatal attack on Mr Newlove in Warrington - could be given another chance of parole as soon as the summer.

Garry NewloveGarry Newlove
Garry Newlove

Baroness Newlove – who was made a peer in 2010 following her campaign work on youth crime and later became the Victims’ Commissioner – told the Daily Mail: “It’s absolutely disgusting. How is he able to have a party in prison with alcohol?

"It beggars belief. Cunliffe was a huge instigator in Garry’s death. It feels like he is laughing over Garry’s body all over again.”

She added that alcohol had played a major role in her husband's death and that the use of it by Cunliffe in his cell indicated a lack of remorse.

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He was sentenced to life with a recommended minimum terms of 12 years with Stephen Sorton, 17 and Adam Swellings, 19, following a trial at Chester Crown Court in January 2008.

Baroness Helen NewloveBaroness Helen Newlove
Baroness Helen Newlove

Last year, Cunliffe and his mum Janet from Pemberton lost a High Court action in his fight to have his conviction overturned.

Leading judges rejected a challenge by Jordan Cunliffe against a decision by the independent body, which investigates possible miscarriages of justice, not to refer his case to the Court of Appeal for review.

For years Pemberton-born Janet Cunliffe has been campaigning for the partially-sighted 28-year-old to be freed while trying to overthrow the “joint enterprise” law - which prosecutes those who fail to prevent a crime by co-accused - saw him get a life term in the first place.

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She argues he was only on the periphery, could barely see and didn’t have time to react.

Judges rejected a sentence appeal, saying Cunliffe, who was 16 when jailed with two others for the 2007 murder of Warrington dad Garry Newlove, had failed to show remorse.

Sir Brian Leveson and Mr Justice William Davis dismissed a claim for judicial review by Cunliffe against a decision last year by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Sir Brian said it was submitted that “there was nothing in the evidence” to show Cunliffe was a participant in the attack on Mr Newlove at the time of the fatal blow.

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But he said: “This submission is untenable. The evidence as a whole showed that he was participating throughout the incident involving Mr Newlove.”

He added that the trial judge’s direction to the jury “made it perfectly clear that a defendant could not be convicted unless he were proved to be party to the joint enterprise when the fatal blow was struck”.

However Cunliffe has served his minimum term and first became eligible for parole last August.

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