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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 July 2005, 12:10 GMT 13:10 UK
Killer stalker's prison term cut
Rana Faruqui
Murder victim Rana Faruqui, 35, begged Griffiths to leave her alone
A stalker jailed for life for murdering his ex-girlfriend by stabbing her in the heart won a cut in the minimum prison term he must serve.

Stephen Griffiths, 41, stabbed Rana Faruqui, 35, in a field near Burnham, Bucks, after stalking her for months.

His minimum term was cut from 15 years to 12 years and seven months in the Court of Appeal on Wednesday.

Horsewoman Ms Faruqui, from Farnham Common, was found dead in a field at Jennings Farm on 2 August 2003.

Trial judge Mr Justice Silber, sitting at Reading Crown Court, had originally sentenced Griffiths to life with a specified minimum period of 11 years and 54 days, but later exercised his power to vary it, adding an extra year.

Lord Justice Pill, sitting with Mr Justice Henriques and Mr Justice Davis, ruled: "The upward review resulting in the sentence imposed by the judge achieved on23 December was inappropriate."

Stephen Griffiths
Obsessed Stephen Griffiths attacked his ex-girlfriend in a field

He said they appreciated the public concern, and particularly the concern of the victim's family, about sentences perceived to be lenient when a horrifying offence such as Griffiths' has been committed.

"Justice is not, however, served, nor is confidence in the processes of the court enhanced by upholding a procedure which had insufficient regard to the need for transparency, clarity and finality in sentencing."

Griffiths, 41, a former quantity surveyor of no fixed abode, admitted murdering Ms Faruqui.

His trial heard a 999 operator heard Miss Faruqui pleading in vain with Griffiths moments before her death, saying: "Leave me alone, leave me alone."

He had set out for the field equipped with three knives, a truncheon, binoculars and a roll of tape in a bag.

In the boot of his car, he had stashed a crowbar, two bow saws, a chisel, an axe, rat poison, caustic soda, syringes, a catapult, a mallet, an industrial sack, rope, a box of industrial gloves and the base of a garden parasol.


SEE ALSO:
Killer stalker's longer sentence
23 Dec 04 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Man jailed for murdering ex-lover
13 Dec 04 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Ex-lover admits horsewoman murder
10 Dec 04 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts


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