Last chance appeal for father

THE FATHER of a murder victim who was tortured and forced to live in a cupboard has been granted a last chance to appeal against his failed bid for compensation.

THE FATHER of a murder victim who was tortured and forced to live in a cupboard has been granted a last chance to appeal against his failed bid for compensation.

Terry Chant, whose son Justin was found starved to death at a flat near Frinton in November 2000, had failed in two previous bids for a payout because his son had a criminal record before he died.

Justin Chant was forced to live in a 3ft square space at the flat he shared with Stephen Sullivan in Byng Close, Thorpe-le-Soken.

When his skeletal body was found by police, it emerged he had died from a combination of starvation and dehydration. He was 24.


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Sullivan was convicted of murder and false imprisonment and jailed for life in December, 2001.

Mr Chant failed to win compensation from the Government-run Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, despite claiming his son only committed the crimes - such as shoplifting- while under Sullivan's influence.

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Mr Chant said he welcomed the chance to set the record straight at the hearing.

"Hopefully, at last we can take our issues up there and put our points of view face to face with the people who make the decisions.

"Nothing in cases like this is ever black and white – my son was physically abused, mentally abused and put in a cupboard and left to die. He never had a criminal record before he met Sullivan," he said.

He added he had fought "tooth and nail" to get as far as he had with the compensation claim.

At Sullivan's trial, a jury heard how the killer had an influence over people like that of the infamous 1960s Californian mass-murder Charles Manson.

A spokesman for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority confirmed Mr Chant, from London, had been granted an oral appeal hearing later in the year.

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