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Retrieved 1 February Ich hatte den Mordauftrag von der Stasi". Retrieved December 5, Retrieved 17 November Retrieved May 18, Archived from the original on 17 November Hughes's father Gerald told the jury that his son had admitted the murder to him shortly after he was arrested and being held in custody at a local police station although Hughes himself has always denied that any such confession took place.
Jonathan Carroll, a year-old career criminal who was in prison at the time he testified, told the jury that he had seen Hughes carrying a hessian sack along a Llandudno street on the night of Sophie's murder, and that he had caught a glimpse of a naked body in the sack — Carroll himself admitted he was in the process of stealing property from the garden of a house when he saw this happening. A third witness, convicted child sex offender Michael Guidi, testified that Hughes had boasted to him a few years before that he would like to "rape a girl of 4 or 5".
The jury also heard details of the injuries that Sophie had sustained in the attack, many of which had been inflicted before she died. On 18 July , the jury returned a guilty verdict on all three charges against Howard Hughes. The year-old was then given three life sentences by trial judge Mr Justice Curtis, who branded Hughes a "fiend" and recommended that he should never be released from prison.
This provisionally placed him within the small group of prisoners who were issued with a whole life tariff , although the Home Office did not immediately confirm Hughes's tariff. On 5 September , the Court of Appeal gave Howard Hughes leave to appeal against his conviction for the abduction, rape and murder of Sophie Hook. Two weeks later, the Court of Appeal rejected Hughes's bid to have his convictions quashed. Hughes's second appeal took place on 4 September , but the Court of Appeal again decided that there were no grounds for his convictions to be quashed.
The judges who made the decision also ruled that they would not allow Hughes to further contest his convictions unless any new evidence turned up.
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Hughes then reportedly decided to challenge his conviction in the European Court of Human Rights , but has so far yet to do this. On 24 November , the then Home Secretary David Blunkett announced that four convicted child murderers would each spend a minimum of 50 years behind bars before being considered for parole.
This ruling meant that Hughes would not be considered for release until and the age of The Home Secretary's power of setting minimum terms was stripped 48 hours later as a result of a successful legal challenge in the European Court of Human Rights by convicted double murderer Anthony Anderson. The Home Office described the timing of the Home secretary's decision as "coincidental", in response to any media or legal sources which might have argued that Blunkett had made the decision as he knew he was on the verge of being stripped of these powers.
The government was also under public scrutiny for failing to prevent a firefighters' strike at the time, and earlier that month Myra Hindley had died after serving 36 years of her life sentence for her role in the Moors Murders.
Hindley's minimum sentence had been increased for 25 years to 30 years and then to "whole life" by a succession of Home Secretaries, and her supporters argued that successive Home Secretaries were keeping her in prison to serve the interests of their respective governments. Although Whiting had his tariff reduced to 40 years on appeal in June , Hughes has yet to challenge the year tariff, while Morss and Tyler have yet to challenge theirs as well.
In June , the far-right British National Party came under heavy media and public criticism for distributing literature across North Wales, featuring an image of Sophie Hook and several other victims of similar murders as part of a campaign for a reintroduction of the death penalty. Gerry Davies, the man who found Sophie's body, spoke of his disgust at the BNP's exploitation of the tragedy and stated that it was a "vote loser" for the BNP rather than a "vote winner".
The party had not consulted the families of the murdered children for permission to use photographs of the murdered children or the details of their deaths as part of the campaign. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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