Jonathan Fitchett Killers Granted Appeal

By on Wednesday, July 23, 2014

childs_priceThe two men found guilty of the murder of Jonathan Fitchett have won the right to challenge the verdicts in court.

In December last year, Gerard Childs, 28, of Rainhill, and Stephen Price, 29, of Prescot, were sentenced to life imprisonment for killing Mr Fitchett, 22, also of Prescot.

The pair had punched and kicked their victim in front of shoppers at Cables Retail Park, Prescot, on Thursday 11 July 2013. He died the following day from a brain haemorrhage.

The men’s lawyers argued at London’s Appeals Court yesterday (Tuesday 22 July) that, as the medical evidence could not identify exactly which blow killed Mr Fitchett, the conviction was unsafe.

The men were convicted on the basis of “joint enterprise,” the legal principle that everyone knowingly involved in a crime is equally responsible for the outcome.

Using this principle, the jury’s verdict deemed Childs and Price both guilty of murder, even if it was uncertain which man delivered the fatal blow.

Mr Justice Irwin said the defence’s case was “arguable,” and they could therefore challenge the verdict.

The judge could not predict the outcome of an appeal, however, and cautioned the imprisoned men’s families against raising their hopes.

No date has been set for the appeal(s).

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