Man’s appeal over gay murder conviction rejected Staff Writer April 9, 2009
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A man who was found guilty of murdering a man he met for sex has had his appeal against the jury’s verdict rejected.

David Shale, now 29, and his friend Andrew Shortt, now 30, were convicted at Bristol Crown Court of murdering 46-year-old Robert Huggett in September 1999.

The Weston Mercury reports that both men had denied the murder while on trial but Shortt recently admitted he had single-handedly killed Mr Huggett.

At an appeal hearing earlier this year, he said he had lied at the trial in the hope of avoiding prison.

However, three senior appeal judges opted to disregard Shortt’s version of events and dimiss Shale’s appeal.

“We are quite satisfied that this appeal against conviction must be dismissed,” Lord Justice Hooper told the court.

The original court heard that the pair had met Mr Huggett at gay club Manhattan’s.

It was said he had been murdered by being punched and stamped on during a robbery.

The prosecution alleged that Shale had been part of the attack and encouraged Shortt to attack the man.

Shale’s lawyers argued there had been only one participant in the attack, saying that only Shortt’s footprints were found around the scene of the murder.

Shale was ordered to serve a minimum of 14 years in prison, and will not be eligible for parole until at least 2013.

The Appeal Court judges are to explain their reasons for dismissing Shale’s appeal at a later date.

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