Teen killer's 'pitiful' jail sentence won't be reviewed by appeal court

Tom Hunt Andrea Cristea sentence

Tom Hunt believed the sentence received by Andrea Cristea to be far too lenient - Credit: Parliament TV/Suffolk Constabulary

A 17-year-old killer's sentence for the manslaughter of an Ipswich man outside a kebab shop will not be referred to an appeal court, the town's MP has confirmed.

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt had asked the Attorney General to refer Andrea Cristea's case to the Court of Appeal under the unduly lenient sentence scheme.

Cristea was handed four years in a young offenders' institution in April for unlawfully killing Richard Day outside a takeaway in St Matthews Street last February. 

Richard Day, 45, known as Richie, was described as a quiet, reserved man and a 'real gent' Picture:

Richard Day, 45, known as Richie, was described as a quiet, reserved man and a 'real gent' - Credit: Supplied by family

The 17-year-old pleaded guilty to manslaughter and violent disorder a week before he and two other teenage boys were due to go on trial last August.

Believing the sentence to be "far too lenient", and with the permission of Mr Day's family, Mr Hunt asked Michael Ellis QC to exercise his power to refer the case to the Court of Appeal.

The MP for Ipswich said the Attorney General's decision not to refer the case had been down to the likelihood of the Court of Appeal increasing the term in the face of current sentencing guidelines.

These take into account a defendant's age, as well as any aggravating and mitigating features surrounding the offence.

In his latest column for this paper, Mr Hunt said: "In my opinion then, these sentencing guidelines need to be looked at again and new measures need to be brought in to ensure that tougher responses are given for crimes as severe as this.

"I also raised the key concern that there appears to be no gradation between the way the courts treat minors who commit crimes such as this one.

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"I was encouraged to hear that the use of a ‘sliding scale’ to determine the sentencing of the young person is likely to change for those convicted of murder, but I am concerned that this might not cover manslaughter charges, or be as tough as victim’s families deserve."

On Monday, Mr Hunt will lead an adjournment debate in the House of Commons on the ‘Sentencing regime for 17-year-olds’.

He added: "This adjournment debate will give me the opportunity to express to the Speaker of the House of Commons my strong position that there needs to be further reform of the sentencing regime for 17-year-olds.

"This position has been further amplified by the decision of the Attorney General not to refer the sentencing to the Court of Appeal."