UPDATE: One-punch killer Lewis Gill's sentence "not unduly lenient", Court of Appeal decides (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Four year sentence of one-punch killer Lewis Gill will not change, court of Court of Appeal decides, following death of Andrew Young
COURT of Appeal judges have ruled that the four-year sentence given to Lewis Gill, 21, for the one-punch manslaughter of Asperger's sufferer Andrew Young in an unprovoked attack in Bournemouth, was not "unduly lenient".
But the Attorney General has told the Daily Echo that he will speak to the Secretary of State for Justice about sentencing guidelines for such crimes.
Gill, who was jailed for four years for the manslaughter of Andrew Young, could have received a longer jail term following national outcry over the incident.
The Attorney General received around 300 complaints about the sentence, and Gill appeared before three Court of Appeal judges today. Their ruling was that the sentence was "not unduly lenient."
The Attorney General Dominic Grieve, who presented the case himself, told the Daily Echo today: “I would not have made the referral unless I thought there was an argument that could be made before the court, but I’m respectful of the court’s decision.
“They’re bound by sentencing guidelines and previous decisions and they felt that the sentence passed by the judge fell squarely within the interpretation of the previous decisions.”
Mr Grieve said that the guidelines could be looked at by the Sentencing Council, which is something he would discuss with the Secretary of State for Justice.
“I’m perfectly mindful of the fact that there is a lot of public disquiet over instances of death as a consequence of an action.
“It’s a matter that will ultimately have to be looked at and debated in Parliament.”
In a further statement released later, he added: “This was a case of gratuitous, unprovoked violence.
“It was broad daylight when Lewis Gill delivered a very deliberate, forceful and vicious punch.
“I asked the Court of Appeal too look again at this sentence as I believed it was unduly lenient.
"They have taken the view that the four-year sentence imposed on Lewis Gill should not be increased and I accept their decision entirely.”
Andrew Young’s mother slammed Britain’s ‘soft touch’ judicial system that allowed one-punch killer Lewis Gill to be given a four year prison sentence.
Pamela Young, 71, said: “I don’t feel sad for myself but sad for the police.
“In this country people can get away with anything, not through the police but through the courts.
“My sympathies are with the police who do a brilliant job. The police have done their duty but the judicial system hasn’t. The judicial system is a soft touch.”
She added: “I didn’t think it was justice for Andrew at the time but it’s now gone to the highest court in the land.
“If the highest court says that’s OK then I respect that.
“It’s best not to have any revenge. If you have revenge in your mind the only person you will hurt is yourself.”
When asked if she felt if justice had been served had Gill been given a longer sentence she said: “I suppose it would. It won’t bring Andrew back.”
Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood contacted the Attorney General after hearing of the case and called for the sentencing guidelines to be reviewed so that such crimes were considered a category of murder, rather than manslaughter, in the future.
Warning: contains graphic scenes of violence
Mr Ellwood said: "There are two or three aspects to this case that particularly concern me - the sheer violence of the single strike itself and then the fact that the assailant walked away unperturbed by what he had done, leaving a victim lying in the road.
"He showed no remorse whatsoever. It behaviour that needs to be punished and I don't believe a four year sentence, possibly out in two, is a fair reflection of the crime that has been committed."
"My view is that this category of a deliberate, single and violent punch, premediated and to the head, should constitute a new category of murder," he said.
"There's no weapon involved but the weapon is the sheer power these individuals are using."
Mr Young, 40, died after being hit by Gill in a row over cycling on the pavement.
The victim, an Asperger’s sufferer, had made a racist remark to Gill’s acquaintance Victor Ibitoye while he rode a pedal cycle on the pathway in Charminster Road.
Overhearing, Gill swung a punch at Mr Young, who collapsed onto the road behind him.
He died the following day, November 7, at Southampton General Hospital following an operation.
The Daily Echo’s ‘Killer punch’ front page sparked widespread national and international media coverage, leading to calls for Gill’s sentence to be reviewed.
Mr Young is the fourth person to die in Bournemouth in just 13 years from a single blow.
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