SOMETIMES judicial rulings stick in the throat, regardless of the fact that they have been handed down from the highest of authority.

We share the disappointment expressed in today’s paper by Ben Barnett, the brother of Heather Barnett. Yesterday, Heather’s killer, Danilo Restivo, has his whole life term quashed by the Court of Appeal, to be replaced by a minimum term of 40 years.

The terrible circumstances of the murder have been well documented, as have those of Elisa Claps’ killing in Italy, nine years earlier.

Although it was subsequently proved that Restivo was responsible for both the Lord Chief Justice said the sentence should have reflected only the crime for which he had been convicted.

Though it may all seem academic, as Restivo will be at least 80 by the time of any release, the point for many people is that there are certain criminals who should never be able to darken society’s door again.

Danilo Restivo is up there at the top of the list.