Judges hear whole-life tariff pleas

Hillingdon Times: David Oakes was told that he will never be released from prison David Oakes was told that he will never be released from prison

Leading judges are to hear challenges by three killers and a rapist against the length of their sentences.

Among the cases under review by a panel of five Court of Appeal judges, headed by Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, are those of two murderers who have been ordered to serve the rest of their lives behind bars.

As well as the appeals by David Oakes and Danilo Restivo against "whole-life" orders, the court will be dealing with a challenge by rapist Michael Roberts, known as the "Bermondsey Beast", who has been told he will never be released from jail.

In addition to the cases involving whole-life tariffs, the judges will hear an appeal by Kiaran Stapleton - who labelled himself "Psycho" when he appeared in court for shooting a stranger in the head at point blank range. Stapleton was jailed for life in July with a minimum term of 30 years over the death of Indian student Anuj Bidve, 23, in Salford, Greater Manchester.

Rapist Roberts, who terrorised elderly women in a London suburb for more than a decade, was jailed in January and told he will live out his days behind bars.

Roberts, 45, joined a small group of "life means life" prisoners after raping three victims - one aged 83 - and viciously attacking a fourth in Bermondsey, south London. He evaded justice for 15 years but was captured after a cold case review by Scotland Yard.

Hair fetishist Restivo was given a whole life tariff in June 2011 for the "depraved" and "callous" murder and mutilation of a mother-of-two in Bournemouth.

The 39-year-old Italian national was found guilty by a jury at Winchester Crown Court of the 2002 murder of neighbour Heather Barnett, 48.

Oakes, who "sadistically tortured" his former partner before shooting her and their two-year-old daughter, was told at Chelmsford Crown Court in May that he will never be released from prison after a jury found him guilty.

The 50-year-old, of Canney Road, Steeple, Essex, went to Christine Chambers's house in Braintree where he killed her and daughter Shania with a shotgun.

(Ministry of Justice)

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