Thugs jailed for life after killing father-of-three Garry Newlove who confronted them for vandalising cars outside his home could be free in months
- Garry Newlove, 47, was beaten to death outside home in Warrington, Cheshire
- Jordan Cunliffe, 27, and Stephen Sorton, 29, have been referred to Parole Board
- They were jailed for life in 2007 for part in father-of-three Mr Newlove’s death
Garry Newlove, 47, pictured, was beaten to death outside his home in Warrington, Cheshire, in 2007 after he reprimanded thugs for vandalising cars
Two of the yobs who beat father-of-three Garry Newlove to death outside his home could be freed from prison within months.
Jordan Cunliffe, 27, and 29-year-old Stephen Sorton have been referred to the Parole Board to consider for release just 11 years after they were jailed for life.
The pair were 16 and 17 when they attacked 47-year-old Mr Newlove after he reprimanded them for vandalising cars outside his home in Warrington, Cheshire, in 2007.
Drunk and high on skunk cannabis, the yobs repeatedly punched Mr Newlove and kicked his head ‘like a football’.
Despite the intervention of the devoted father’s daughters, the two thugs and a third assailant – Adam Swellings – just laughed and urged each other on.
Mr Newlove’s death 36 hours later shocked the nation and became a symbol of Broken Britain.
Cunliffe was sentenced to life with a recommended minimum terms of 12 years. Sorton, who launched the killer blow, was ordered to serve 15 years, which was reduced by two years on appeal. But both will now face a oral parole hearing later this year.
Stephen Sorton, left, and Jordan Cunliffe, right, who were jailed for life after beating father-of-three Mr Newlove to death could be freed from prison within months
Campaigners yesterday said the killers’ release would be a huge blow to Mr Newlove’s family.
His widow Helen – who was made a peer in 2010 following her campaign work on youth crime and later became the Victim’s Commissioner – has called the parole process ‘painful’.
After attending Cunliffe and Sorton’s initial parole hearings last year, she said later: ‘Release is a painful part of the victim journey. You know it must happen but it does not make it any easier.’
She also described the Parole Board process as ‘intimidating’, saying it was ‘cathartic’ to face her husband’s killers but she felt helpless as she could not ask them anything about the murder.
Mr Newlove’s widow Helen, pictured, described the Parole Board process as ‘intimidating’ and said she felt helpless as she could not ask her husband’s killers anything about the murder
She added: ‘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.’
The peer has called for new laws to be introduced that protect the rights of victims.
Harry Fletcher of the Victims’ Rights Campaign, said: ‘These were very lenient minimum sentences that were handed out and this case yet again reinforces the need for a debate about sentencing for homicide and decisions of the Parole Board to release.
‘It would be a highly contentious decision to release these offenders back on to the streets. It will cause high levels of stress and anxiety to the victim’s family.’
Mr Newlove’s daughters witnessed the attack and tried to help their father. He is pictured with his wife Helen, who was made a peer in 2010, and daughters (from left) Amy, Zoe, and Danielle
Mr Fletcher said their release would also ‘deeply upset’ Mr Newlove’s daughters – Amy, then 12, Danielle, 15, and Zoe, 18 – who witnessed the attack.
Zoe Newlove wrote on Facebook in November: ‘It was my Dad’s birthday today. He would have been 59. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about you.’
Yesterday the Parole Board said: ‘Decisions are solely focused on whether a prisoner would represent a significant risk to the public after release. This is done with great care and public safety is the number one priority.’
Swellings, who was jailed for 17 years in 2008, will not be eligible for parole until 2024.