UK: Court of Appeal to review sentence of man who burnt gay teenager to death
The Attorney General’s Office has told PinkNews.co.uk that a decision of a judge to hand down a three and a half year sentence for the killing of a gay teenager has now been referred to the Court of Appeal.
Steven died after sustaining “significant burns” last June when Sheard coated the teenager in tanning oil and then set his genitals on fire during his 18th birthday party.
The court heard Sheard initially tried to blame Steven, who lived alone and had Asperger syndrome, for setting himself on fire.
Sheard eventually pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to three and a half years last month.
However, several people – including the charity Stop Hate UK – subsequently asked the Attorney General Dominic Grieve to refer the sentence to the Court of Appeal, on the basis that it was unduly lenient.
The Attorney General’s Office confirmed to PinkNews.co.uk on Thursday that Mr Grieve has decided to refer the sentence to the Court of Appeal.
A spokesperson told PinkNews.co.uk: “Having carefully reviewed this case, the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, has decided to refer the sentence to the Court of Appeal for review as a possibly unduly lenient sentence.
“The case will in due course be heard by three Court of Appeal judges who will decide whether or not to increase the sentence.”
More: anti-gay crime, Asperger syndrome, attorney general, Attorney General Dominic Grieve, court of appeal, death, England, Hate crime, killing, manslaughter, Sheffield, Sheffield Crown Court, Stop Hate UK