Murder sentence appeal fails

Jordan Cunliffe
Jordan Cunliffe

Judges have thrown out a fresh appeal by a Wigan woman’s son against his murder sentence.

Jordan Cunliffe, whose Pemberton mum Janet has been at the forefront of the campaign against the legal concept of “joint enterprise” under which he was jailed, had hoped to get his minimum 12-year jail term reduced because by objecting to the non-disclosure to his legal team of an impact statement from the victim’s widow.

Cunliffe was 15 when he was part of a gang which attacked Warrington dad Garry Newlove outside his home nine years ago.

Although he did not play a major role in inflicting injuries on the victim he was nonetheless handed a life sentence because of his guilt by association.

He appealed against his sentence last May but it was upheld on the recommendation of a senior judge after Mr Justice Mitting considered a statement by Mr Newlove’s widow, Helen, now Baroness Newlove.

Justice Secretary Michael Gove then backed the recommendation.

But Cunliffe objected to the fact that he was not allowed to see Baroness Newlove’s statement and took his case back to court. He claimed Mr Gove’s decision not to cut his term after a judge considered the secret statement was “unlawful.”

The appeal was rejected as irrelevant although Lord Justice Bean, sitting with Mrs Justice Carr, did say that the Baroness’s statement should have been shown to Cunliffe’s team if she wanted it considering as evidence against his appeal.

The bid to get Cunliffe’s sentence cut originally was dismissed because a judge concluded that Cunliffe’s rehabilitation in prison had been good but not exceptional.

Mrs Cunliffe has argued that he has not been able to show great improvement because his behaviour in prison has been good from the start.