Widow of murdered Garry Newlove devastated by Wigan teen's open prison move

Jordan Cunliffe was 16 on conviction
Jordan Cunliffe was 16 on conviction

A Wigan teenager who was convicted of the murder of a dad-of-three has been moved to an open prison after serving just 12 years.

Jordan Cunliffe, from Standish Lower Ground, was 16 when he was convicted of the murder of Warrington dad Garry Newlove.

Garry Newlove

Garry Newlove

Cunliffe, alongside Adam Swellings, 19, of Crewe; and 17-year-old Stephen Sorton, from Warrington, were convicted of the 47-year-old’s murder in 2007 after Mr Newlove was beaten to death after a row broke out.

In the case of Cunliffe, although he did not physically strike the blows which killed the father-of-three, he was found guilty of being present at the time and not attempting to stop the crime.

Following a parole hearing last year, both Cunliffe and Sorton have been moved to an open prison and could be released as soon as next year.

Mr Newlove's wife, Baroness Helen Newlove has long spoken out against violent crime and now sits in the House of Lords after been given a peerage eight years ago for campaigning against binge-drinking.

Baroness Newlove taking her seat in the House of Lords

Baroness Newlove taking her seat in the House of Lords

The Baroness has spoken out about the parole hearing after she was not given the chance to question two of the teenagers guilty of her husband's death.

She has been reported as saying: "The hearing is cathartic.

"You get to look at the parole board panel and ­hopefully the offender in the eye. But it is frustrating.

"You get nothing in return other than a polite ­acknowledgement and thank you for coming.

"You can only read your submitted statement. You cannot deviate from the script. There are no questions. For me it was frustrating."

Cunliffe's mum, Janet, did not wish to comment as the parole hearing was back in August 2017 and her son was moved to open prison shortly after this.

She has campaigned for 10 years since her son was prosecuted under the “joint enterprise” law which means that he was guilty even if he did not land a fatal blow because he was part of the gang and didn’t act to save the victim.

A campaign launched by Janet, called JENGbA (Joint enterprise: not guilty by association) wants to scrap the “guilt by association” law and it has received high-profile support not least from the award-winning writer Jimmy McGovern who wrote a television drama on the subject. So far legal attempts to have Jordan Cunliffe freed from prison have failed.