UPDATE: Lee Irving murder
07 Mar 2017 16:00 PM[View Full Size]
Two people convicted for their involvement which led to the death of a vulnerable Newcastle man have today had their sentences reviewed at the Royal Court in London.
The Court of Appeal has today increased the sentences of Julie Mills and Nicole Lawrence who were originally sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court after being convicted for their involvement in the death of Lee Irving.
The appeal was upheld and now their original sentences have been quashed and Mills has been sentenced to eight years for causing Lee’s death and two years for perverting the course of justice, to run consecutively.
Lawrence has been sentenced to five years for causing Lee’s death and two years for perverting the course of justice, to run consecutively.
James Wheatley was convicted of Lee's murder and was sentenced to life in December last year along with Mills, who was originally sentenced to eight years, Lawrence to four years, and Barry Imray to three years. Imray's sentence today was not changed.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Fairlamb is pleased that there is finally some closure for the family and justice has been done for a vulnerable young man.
DCI Fairlamb said: "It has been heart-breaking to see this family go through even more distress than they have already been through but today they have finally got the justice for Lee they felt was right.
"I hope today's outcome is a huge weight lifted for them all. We appreciate that for any family who has had a loved one taken from them at the hands of another person, no sentence will ever be enough to justify the loss of life but we hope today's outcome can bring Lee's family some solace.
"Protecting people is our absolute priority, particularly those who are vulnerable. These people who Lee thought were his friends prevented us getting to Lee before he was killed. We have continued to work to get the right justice Lee and his family deserve.
"We absolutely want to do what's right for victims and their families and on this occasion, we felt the original sentences handed to Mills and Lawrence just didn't seem enough for the truly abhorrent way in which Lee was left to die at the hands of Wheatley. We were right to bring this case to the Royal Court and we are pleased that the Judges agree.
"Our thoughts will always remain with Lee's family, his death has had an impact on the investigative team and from us all we wish the family all the best in the future and hope they can move on with their lives."