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‘My relief over failed appeal’

Thrown out: Ashley Charless appeal was rejected. Below, Jane Sherriff with children Rowan, six, and Megan

Thrown out: Ashley Charless appeal was rejected. Below, Jane Sherriff with children Rowan, six, and Megan

The widow of a dad who was murdered with a broken bottle has told of her ‘relief’ after his killer’s appeal was rejected.

Ashley Charles, 27, was jailed for life at the Old Bailey in November last year after he was convicted of murdering 37-year-old Philip Sherriff from Scorton, near Preston.

Philip was slashed with a broken bottle after jostling with Charles at an event in London, attended by celebrities including the singer Jessie J, on April 4 last year.

Charles, of Nevanthon Road, Leicester, appeared at the Court of Appeal in London yesterday to appeal both the conviction and sentence – but had his complaints thrown out by Lord Justice Jackson.

Philip’s widow Jane attended the hearing. Speaking afterwards she said: “I am just relieved it is all over.

“It was like being back in the trial, it was just like a summary of the entire trial.

“I couldn’t tell which way it was going. I was expecting the worst.”

Jane, 36, was first informed that Charles was going to appeal in January and said waiting had been “hanging over” her.

She added: “That is it now. There’s nothing he can do.”

It was argued on behalf of Charles that when he struck the fatal blow he did not intend either to kill or cause really serious harm, and in the circumstances the appropriate verdict was manslaughter, not murder.

But, Lord Justice Jackson, dismissing a renewed application for leave to appeal against conviction, said the jury decided he had “intended to cause really serious harm”, adding: “In our view, on the evidence, the jury were fully entitled to reach that conclusion and they received all proper assistance from the judge.”

Rejecting the sentence challenge, he said the trial judge had weighed up all the favourable and unfavourable matters when deciding on the minimum term of 14 years.

Lord Justice Jackson concluded: “On any view that assessment was a perfectly proper one. We see no grounds for this court to interfere.

“Mr Sherriff has lost his life and the appellant must serve the sentence imposed upon him.”

 

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