Page last updated at 14:32 GMT, Monday, 6 October 2008 15:32 UK

Killer loses life sentence appeal

Arthur Hutchinson
Hutchinson will remain in prison for the rest of his life

A man who murdered the parents and brother of a bride hours after her wedding has lost a bid to overturn a ruling that he must die behind bars.

Three judges in the Court of Appeal rejected arguments made on behalf of Arthur Hutchinson that he should not be the subject of a "whole life" tariff.

He was jailed in 1984 for stabbing to death Basil Laitner, his wife Avril and son Richard at their home in Sheffield.

Hartlepool-born Hutchinson, now 67, was told his crimes were "truly horrific".

In May a judge in the High Court, who reviewed the tariff to be served, ruled that in Hutchinson's case life should mean life.

None of us is aware of a case of greater gravity or more heinous than this case
Lord Justice Dyson

But Hutchinson had argued that the trial judge's original recommendation of an 18-year minimum prison term was the correct sentence.

He was 42 years old and not known to the Laitner family when he committed the murders at their home in Dore, Sheffield, hours after they had hosted the wedding reception of their daughter Suzanne.

Lord Justice Dyson, sitting with Mr Justice Henriques and Mr Justice Openshaw, described it as a "truly horrific case" and said there was "no substance" in Hutchinson's application.

He said: "This was a truly shocking case. In the experience of all three members of this court we can say that none of us is aware of a case of greater gravity or more heinous than this case.

"In our judgment Mr Justice Tugendhat was plainly correct in saying that this applicant should spend the rest of his life in custody without prospect of release."

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