BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Friday, 21 November, 2003, 16:42 GMT
Teenage killer loses freedom bid
Anthony Dudson
Dudson was 17 when he took part in the murder
A man who was involved the "human torch" murder of a 16-year-old girl nearly 10 years ago has failed to have the minimum term he must serve in prison reduced.

The High Court ruled Anthony Dudson should serve at least 16 years in prison for the murder of Suzanne Capper.

Miss Capper had been lured to a house where she was held for eight days, tortured and finally murdered after being doused in petrol and set alight.

Dudson was 17-years-old when he was ordered at Manchester Crown Court in December 1993 to be detained at Her Majesty's pleasure.

Now aged 27, Dudson had been granted leave to appeal by two senior judges on the basis that his case raised issues of general public importance with regard to setting "tariffs" for retribution and deterrence.

'Unique' offence

His three adult co-accused - Jean Powell, 26, her estranged husband Glyn Powell, 29, and Bernadette McNeilly, 24 - were given life sentences.

The trial judge, Mr Justice Potts, had described the case as "unique in his experience" and recommended that Dudson should serve a tariff of 18 years.

The minimum term was re-set by the Home Secretary at 16 years in March 2002 following a recommendation from Lord Woolf, the current Lord Chief Justice.

He had said the reduction was in recognition of "the significant progress" Dudson had made in detention.

Tim Owen QC, appearing for Dudson, argued the reduction was insufficient and said Lord Woolf had failed to reflect the continuing obligation to have regard to Dudson's welfare.

He also argued the tariff-setting procedure was flawed because Dudson's advisers were not given an opportunity to make oral submissions to the Lord Chief Justice.

But Lord Justice Kennedy, sitting with Mr Justice Mackay, dismissed both grounds of challenge on Friday.

Teenage killer's bid for freedom
18 Nov 03  |  Manchester

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific