Page last updated at 15:45 GMT, Sunday, 3 August 2008 16:45 UK

Pc killer ruling 'disrespectful'

Ian Broadhurst
The unarmed policeman was shot dead on Boxing Day 2003

A decision to overturn the whole-life term for Pc Ian Broadhurst's killer was "shockingly disrespectful to his memory", says the Police Federation.

In a letter to the Lord Chief Justice, chairman Paul McKeever said the judges who granted ex-US marine David Bieber's appeal had "blood on their hands".

Bieber shot Pc Broadhurst in the head in Leeds on Boxing Day 2003, despite the officer pleading for his life.

Last month, Bieber was told he will now serve a minimum of 37 years in jail.

The original whole life tariff imposed would have meant Bieber dying behind bars.

The Court of Appeal said the facts of Bieber's case, "horrifying though they were", did not justify a "life means life" sentence.

'Travesty of justice'

Mr McKeever spoke of his outrage in a letter to the most senior judge in England and Wales, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, one of the three judges to overturn Bieber's minimum sentence.

Speaking to BBC Radio Four about the letter he said: "This man, Bieber, is a complete monster.

"He gunned down, in fact slaughtered, one of our very brave colleagues in West Yorkshire.

"And the words that I've used express the feeling held by 140,000 police officers throughout the country for the actions of this man."

In the letter he wrote: "This decision is an insult to all police officers and is nothing more than a green light for those evil thugs who have a complete disregard for life itself and think nothing of killing a police officer."

He continued: "Granting an evil, calculated killer any kind of dispensation is criminal and leaves the judiciary with blood on its hands."

David Bieber
Bieber shot Pc Broadhurst despite him pleading for his life

"I... urge you to do whatever is needed to reverse this travesty of justice."

He went on: "This is shockingly disrespectful to his memory and illustrates the utter travesty of our criminal justice system, where the rights of a cop killer outweigh the rights of a fallen officer's family, friends and colleagues."

Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights organisation Liberty, said: "This heinous murderer is subject to imprisonment for the rest of his life, and will be nearly 80 years old before there is any possibility of parole, providing he poses no risk to the public.

"Police officers, like judges, serve the rule of law, which protects everyone.

"Mr McKeever should reflect on the wisdom of showing such disdain for it."

Bieber was found guilty at Newcastle Crown Court in 2004 of the murder of Pc Broadhurst, 34.

Pc Broadhurst, who was unarmed, was shot in Leeds during a routine check on a stolen vehicle.

Bieber was also convicted of the attempted murders of Pc Broadhurst's colleagues, Pc Neil Roper and Pc James Banks.

He became one of only 25 people at the time to have been given a whole-life sentence in England and Wales.

In October 2006, the Court of Appeal rejected Bieber's appeal against his convictions, saying the evidence against him was "overwhelming".


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