Page last updated at 13:38 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 14:38 UK

Killer loses jail term challenge

Bamber arriving at court
Bamber was convicted of murdering five members of his family

A man jailed for murdering five family members has lost his challenge against an order that he must die behind bars.

Jeremy Bamber was convicted of killing his adoptive parents, his sister and her six-year-old twin sons at their farmhouse in Tolleshunt D'Arcy, Essex.

Bamber, who has always denied the 1985 murders, was told by the High Court last year that the "whole-life" tariff imposed in his case must remain.

He was appealing against that decision at the Court of Appeal.

Three judges in London rejected his plea that his "whole-life" tariff should be reduced to a minimum of 25 years to give him some hope of release on parole.

Gun link

Bamber, 48, watched the proceedings via video link from Full Sutton prison in Yorkshire.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, sitting with Mr Justice David Clarke and Mr Justice Wyn Williams, said the reasons for the decision would be given in writing later.

In 1986, Bamber was convicted of murdering his wealthy adoptive parents June and Nevill, his sister Sheila Caffell, and her sons Daniel and Nicholas in August 1985.

The trial at Chelmsford Crown Court heard that Nevill, 61, was found downstairs while Ms Caffell was found dead upstairs, as was his mother and nephews.

Police initially suspected that Ms Caffell, who had not been taking her medication for schizophrenia, had carried out the murders before turning the gun on herself.

But three days after the shootings, a cousin of Bamber's discovered the gun's silencer apparently with Ms Caffell's blood on it.

Four weeks later, Bamber's girlfriend Julie Mugford told police he had often boasted to her he was going to kill his parents.

He would have inherited almost £500,000 from his parents' estate.

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