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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Parents support Barrow MP’s battle to find justice

THE parents of a Barrow man killed in a street have backed an MP’s pledge to fight for an appeal – despite the attorney general saying the case would not be reviewed.

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STRUGGLE David Morgan senior with a picture of his son David. The Morgans have supported the Evening Mail’s call – which is backed by local MP John Woodcock – to have his killer’s three-year sentence for manslaughter reviewed. Above: The Evening Mail’s campaign JON GRANGER

John Woodcock, MP for Barrow and Furness, has pledged to continue fighting for justice for David Morgan and his family.

The 28-year-old died after trying to stop a fight in the Church Street area of Barrow on June 18, 2013.

The Evening Mail, backed by Mr Morgan’s parents David senior and Mary Morgan, and more than 400 readers, called for a review of the sentence of Stephen Falle, 32, of Ramsden Street, Barrow, who was jailed for three years for manslaughter.

The family received the news that calls to re-sentence their son’s killer were rejected, just days after hearing Craig Mansell, of Mill Lane, Walney, who was sentenced to one year in jail for affray over the incident, was back in Barrow after being released.

In a letter to Mr Woodcock regarding his parliamentary question about whether he would review the sentences, the solicitor general, Oliver Heald, said: “The Court of Appeal will only grant permission to refer a sentence in exceptional circumstances, for example if the judge has made some error of principle or has passed a sentence that falls outside the range of sentences which a judge, applying their mind to all the relevant factors, could reasonably consider appropriate.

“This is a very high threshold; before reaching my decision I reviewed the papers in the case. I also obtained a copy of the transcript of the sentencing hearing so I could see exactly what the judge said when he passed sentence.

“Finally, I took independent advice from an experienced barrister who is a specialist in sentencing.

“He was not involved with the case and was therefore able to look at the sentence afresh.

“The Court of Appeal has considered the appropriate sentence for manslaughter in circumstances like this and these judgments are available to guide judges when passing sentence.

“I too have considered the relevant judgments and have concluded that, whilst the sentence appears to be lenient it is not so that it could be considered unduly lenient.

“I do not believe that the Court of Appeal would increase the sentence.”

Mr Woodcock said: “I am very disappointed and will now be considering what the next step forward will be.”

Speaking to the Evening Mail, Mrs Morgan said: “We would definitely back it.

“This was not just for David but for everybody – for anyone else who had suffered from lenient sentences.

“David (snr) had already been to see John Woodcock for a private meeting before the petition, about trying to reduce the amount of time it took for the body to be released from the coroner – John had no idea and said he would bring that up.”

Article archive:

Sentence appeal heartbreak for relatives of Barrow man killed in attack
Parents of Barrow father killed after trying to stop fight demand truth
‘Three years? We couldn’t believe it’ Barrow killer victim's family speak out
Attorney general to examine sentence given to Barrow dad’s killer
Barrow killer ‘in pieces’ at death of his victim
Barrow attack victim’s mother calls for review over manslaughter
Shadow minister backs calls for review of sentence for Barrow man's killer
Three people sentenced in Barrow dad death case

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