Murderer of four-year-old Keighley boy Riley Turner appeals against whole life jail term (From Keighley News)
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Murderer of four-year-old Keighley boy Riley Turner appeals against whole life jail term
12:42pm Sunday 23rd March 2014 in Keighley
Sadistic child killer Anwar Rosser has launched an appeal against his whole life prison sentence.
Rosser’s legal team has lodged the appeal with the Court of Appeal.
A judge will decide in the next few weeks whether it goes to a full court hearing, or should be dismissed at the initial stage.
The 33-year-old psychopathic former soldier was sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars last month for the savage murder of four-year-old Keighley twin Riley Turner.
Riley was strangled and stabbed repeatedly while he slept in his bed at his family’s home in Harewood Road, Bracken Bank, in January 2013.
Rosser pleaded guilty to the murder and was branded “an exceptionally dangerous man” who could kill another child by the sentencing judge, Mr Justice Coulson.
The judge said the murder was a gross breach of trust of Riley’s family and he told Rosser he “must go to prison for life”.
Rosser became only the 54th prisoner in the UK to be on a whole life tariff, meaning they will remain in custody until they die.
Coun Keith Dredge (Lab, Keighley West) said the appeal news was “a blow” and could lead to Riley’s family and the wider community “re-living the trauma”.
Coun Dredge, who was proactive in supporting the community after the tragic death, said the appeal could also lead to more expense for taxpayers.
He said: “The guy is legally entitled to appeal, but I have faith in the British justice system.
“The family will never get over something like this and they don’t need their faces rubbing in it.”
Rosser’s legal team had urged the judge to take into consideration recent judicial debate on the legality of whole life tariffs, and asked him to step back from imposing one.
The European Court of Human Rights last year ruled the sentences must be reviewed, and the Court of Appeal will decide at a later date whether they should remain legal, though the government insists whole life tariffs are “wholly justified in the most heinous cases”.
But Mr Justice Coulson, in sentencing Rosser, said: “I am in no doubt that the only permissible approach is to continue to apply the domestic law.
“It would cause chaos if judges did not apply long-standing statutory provisions merely because there was a risk that, at some stage in the future, those provisions might be the subject of review or amendment."
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