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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 May, 2005, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Life sentence for jeweller killer
Peter Williams
Peter Williams attacked Victor Bates with a crowbar
The teenager convicted of murdering a Nottingham jeweller as she tried to shield her daughter from armed robbers has been handed a life sentence.

Peter Williams, 19, must serve at least 22 years for Marian Bates' killing before being considered for parole.

Williams had denied murder but was convicted at a trial at Stafford Crown Court in March.

Victor Bates, Mrs Bates' husband, said of the sentence: "It is a decent outcome to an indecent act."

Mr Bates, who has sharply criticised Nottinghamshire police's effectiveness, added: "When you take nearly all the police off the streets and put them into response teams in often remote police stations, the criminals are going to come out to play.

'Contempt for life'

"And they have, to tremendous ill-effect, in Nottingham over the past two years."

An investigation has begun into how Williams' removal of an electronic tag - attached on his release from a young offenders' institution - went unnoticed.

Sentencing Williams on Thursday, the trial judge, Mr Justice Gibbs, said: "The acts which led to the death by shooting of Mrs Marian Bates were brutal, callous and showed a contempt for human life."

Victor Bates
My wife's been a victim of these experimental policing techniques
Victor Bates

Det Supt George Frame, of Nottinghamshire Police, welcomed the verdict. He said: "We are delighted with the severity of the sentence handed down by the court.

"Williams is a dangerous and violent man, and thanks to the courage of the witnesses and the hard work of everyone involved in this case, he is now going to be behind bars for a very long time.

"Of course, no matter what the sentence, it was never going to compensate for the pain suffered by Victor, his family and friends, and my thoughts are with them at this time."

Investigation

Mr Frame said officers were still hunting another man - naming him as James Brodie - in connection with Mrs Bates' murder.

The prosecution alleged he was present during the robbery and had helped an unknown gunman to escape from the Time Centre after the shooting. Williams helped the gunman to escape by attacking Mr Bates, 66, with a crowbar in the moments after the shooting on 30 September, 2003.

As well as murder, Williams was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and possessing a firearm with intent.

The jury heard that Mrs Bates, 64, stepped in front of her daughter Xanthe in an "instinctive act of bravery" when Williams and the gunman burst into the family shop on Front Street, Arnold.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See reaction from the victim's family



SEE ALSO:
Bid to honour murdered jeweller
30 Mar 05 |  Nottinghamshire
Teenager guilty of Bates murder
21 Mar 05 |  Nottinghamshire


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