Court of Appeals to Revise the Sentences of Wayne Couzens and Other Murderers

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Ayne Couzens and the killers of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes must have their sentences reviewed together in the appeals court.

On Wednesday, senior judges will hear the challenges or appeals against the jail terms of five murderers, including the life terms of disgraced former police officer Couzens and double murderer Ian Stewart.

The special court of five judges will consider the way in which life sentences are imposed.

Ex-politician Couzens was sentenced to life imprisonment last year for the rape and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard after he kidnapped her in South London on March 3, 2021.

Couzens’ sentencing, Lord Justice Fulford, said the circumstances of the case were “devastating, tragic and utterly brutal” and so exceptional that it warranted a life sentence.

It was the first time the sentence had been imposed for a single adult murder not committed during a terrorist attack.

Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes who murdered six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-HughesPA Media

Emma Tustin and Thomas Hughes, who murdered six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, are also expected to reconsider their sentences.

Arthur suffered an insurmountable brain injury while being cared for alone by Tustin, who was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 29 years after he assaulted the child on June 16, 2020.

Arthur, whose body was also covered in 130 bruises, died in hospital the next day.

His father, Hughes, who was sentenced to 21 years in prison for manslaughter, is appealing his sentence.

Both verdicts will also be challenged by Attorney General Suella Braverman under the overly lenient sentencing regime.

Triple Assassin Jordan MonaghanPA Media

The 40-year minimum term granted to Jordan Monaghan after he murdered two of his children and his new partner will also be reviewed by the judges.

In December 2021, Monaghan was jailed after choking his 24-day-old daughter Ruby while sleeping in a Moses basket on New Year’s Day 2013.

Eight months later, he suffocated his 21-month-old son Logan, and six years later, he killed his new partner, Evie Adams, with a drug overdose.

Double Killer Ian StewartPA Media

Double murderer Ian Stewart, who was convicted of murdering his first wife six years before going to kill his fiancée, is also set to appeal his life sentence.

Stewart murdered 51-year-old children’s author Helen Bailey in 2016 and dumped her body in the cesspool of the £1.5 million house they shared in Royston, Hertfordshire.

A trial had previously heard that it was most likely she had been suffocated while sedated by drugs, and Stewart was found guilty of murdering her in 2017.

Following this conviction, police were investigating the 2010 death of Stewart’s first wife, Diane Stewart, 47.

The cause of her death was recorded at the time as sudden unexplained death from epilepsy, but in February Stewart was found guilty of murdering her.

Couzens, 49, formerly of Deal, Kent, and Stewart, 61, formerly of Royston, Hertfordshire, will try to appeal their life sentences.

Tustin, 32, formerly of Cranmore Road, Solihull, and Monaghan, 30 years old and previously of Belgrave Close, Blackburn, will challenge their verdicts by the Attorney General as being excessively lenient.

Hughes, 29, will try to appeal his sentence, which is also being challenged by the attorney general.

The hearing for the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, Dame Victoria Sharp, Lord Justice Holroyde, Mr Justice Sweeney and Mr Justice Johnson will begin at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The five judges are expected to rule at a later date.

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