Braintree: Murderer challenges whole-life sentence

MURDERER David Oakes has challenged a sentence which will see him die behind bars.

Leading judges were yesterday urged to overturn sentences imposed on two murderers, including Oakes, and a rapist which prevent them ever being released from prison.

Killers Oakes and Danilo Restivo, and the “Bermondsey Beast” rapist Michael Roberts, are all subject to “whole-life” orders – which mean they can never apply for release on parole.

Five judges at the Court of Appeal in London were also asked to reduce the 30-year minimum term imposed on a man who was jailed for life after he “executed” a stranger in the street.

Kiaran Stapleton, 21, who labelled himself “Psycho” when he appeared in court, shot Indian student Anuj Bidve, 23, at point-blank range in Salford, Greater Manchester.


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Oakes, Stapleton and Roberts all watched yesterday’s proceedings – before the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, and four other judges – via video link from their respective prisons. Oakes announced at the beginning of the hearing that he wished to “appeal against my conviction”.

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.

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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 Italian national, now 40, was found guilty by a jury at Winchester Crown Court of the 2002 murder of neighbour Heather Barnett, 48.

Oakes, now 51, formerly of Canney Road, Steeple, Essex, 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.

He went to Christine Chambers’ house in Braintree where he killed her and daughter Shania with a shotgun.

The judges later reserved judgment in all cases to a date to be fixed.

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