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Last Updated: Monday, 27 February 2006, 14:31 GMT
Murders pair get life sentences
Lee and Robert Firkins
The Firkins battered the couple to death with a sledgehammer
Two brothers convicted of one of Cornwall's most notorious murder cases have been given life sentences.

Lee Firkins, 31, and Robert Firkins, 33, were found guilty last month of killing Carol and Graham Fisher.

The couple were shot and beaten to death at their petrol station, Perch Garage, near Wadebridge in 2003.

The two brothers, of Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, must spend 26 years in jail before parole is considered, said the Exeter Crown Court judge.

The killings... involved brutal and sadistic violence
Mr Justice Owen
The brothers have said they will appeal against the convictions.

The jury at Exeter Crown Court returned guilty verdicts after weeks of evidence.

The brothers denied shooting the Fishers three times and then beating them to death with a sledgehammer.

They had each admitted a string of other offences including robbery, assaults, and possession of illegal firearms.

The trial judge, Mr Justice Owen, said: "They are extremely violent and dangerous men and in addition to the murders of Carol and Graham Fisher, which were the most horrific killings, carried out with extreme and gratuitous violence, they also carried out serious crimes across the Westcountry.

"The killings were a double murder carried out in the course of a robbery using firearms and were the most horrific killings which involved brutal and sadistic violence, particularly in their treatment of Carol Fisher.

Carole and Graham Fisher
The Fishers were shot before and after being bludgeoned to death
"There are no mitigating features. The weapons they used were double barrelled shotguns - the weapon of choice of a professional criminal."

Mrs Fisher was shot as she tried to call the police after the balaclava-clad brothers burst into their bungalow on Bonfire Night in November 2003.

She was chased through the rooms of the bungalow and shot again outside the house as she tried to escape.

Her husband was found shot and beaten to death next to the open safe in his kitchen.

Police believe the killings happened when a robbery went wrong.

After the hearing Mrs Fisher's brother Nigel Edwards said: "I was hoping for a longer sentence and life would mean life."




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See more on the Firkins brothers' sentencing



SEE ALSO:
Violent deaths of 'quiet' couple
19 Jan 06 |  England


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