Page last updated at 16:28 GMT, Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Kriss Donald killers abandon appeal bid

Faisal Mushtaq and Zeeshan Shahid
Mushtaq and Shahid had planned to challenge the length of their sentences

Two men jailed for the racist murder of Glasgow schoolboy Kriss Donald have dropped plans to appeal the length of their sentences.

Faisal Mushtaq was ordered to spend at least 22 years in prison and Zeeshan Shahid was given a minimum term of 23 years.

They had planned to challenge the sentences as being too excessive.

Their decision to abandon the appeals comes after judges last week signalled a tougher stance in murder cases.

Appeal court judges issued new guidelines on life sentences in response to an appeal by Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini QC.

They increased the minimum prison term for murder and said the worst killers should spend longer than 30 years in prison - the previous maximum sentence.

Appeals abandoned

At the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh, Brian Gilfedder, solicitor advocate for Mushtaq, said he had been given "certain instructions" by his client, particularly in light of the decision of judges last week to increase minimum terms imposed on three murderers.

Mr Gilfedder said following consideration and after advice was given he was instructed to seek leave to abandon the appeal.

Chris Shead, acting for Shahid, said he had similar instructions from his client.

Faisal Mushtaq, Zeeshan Shahid and his brother Imran Shahid were all sentenced to life in November 2006 after being found guilty of murdering Kriss Donald.

The 15-year-old was abducted on 15 March, 2004, in Pollokshields in Glasgow. He was later stabbed and set on fire.

His body was found by the Clyde walkway in the east end of the city.

Lord Kingarth, sitting with Lord Carloway, granted leave to abandon the challenges against sentences in both cases.

The victim's mother, Angela Donald, who was in court for the proceedings said: "I am just delighted it is not a lesser sentence."



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