Family's anger over appeal
MANSLAUGHTER victim Danny O'Connor's family today told of their disgust after his killer appealed against a three-year prison sentence.The 21-year-old died after a single blow from Dulu Miah, of Spring Road, Ipswich, caused fatal head injuries during an attack in the town's St Peter's Street in May last year.
MANSLAUGHTER victim Danny O'Connor's family today told of their disgust after his killer appealed against a three-year prison sentence.
The 21-year-old died after a single blow from Dulu Miah, of Spring Road, Ipswich, caused fatal head injuries during an attack in the town's St Peter's Street in May last year.
With Mr O'Connor's parents, Theresa and Michael, still struggling to cope, his aunt Margaret Proctor, spoke out on behalf of his family after Miah's appeal against sentence was thrown out by a judge.
The 52-year-old, of St Helen's Street, Ipswich, said they feel that by appealing, Miah, 24, has shown no contrition for his crime and are angry he is likely to be released as early as November.
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Miah has been in prison since he was arrested shortly after the incident. He was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court last November after admitting manslaughter.
Mrs Proctor said: "His actions, to us, mean he does not really have any remorse about what he's done. The law as it stands, immediately halves the sentence of three years. He would only serve 18 months and he thought this was too long.
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"He's in an open prison and still feels he's being punished for taking Danny's life, which is shocking really.
"Dulu Miah knew he did Danny serious harm. He walked away and left him unconscious.
"Theresa and Michael just find it very, very difficult to come to terms with the fact he's going to get out of prison.
"It seems the law does not comprehend the impact that someone like Miah has on a family. We were very pleased at the appeal court hearing because the judge brought out the fact Danny was walking away from Dulu Miah and did not want to fight after the original altercation and Miah followed him in a car. Dulu Miah just kept coming after him and would not let him go.
"What's the point of issuing a three year sentence if you are going to serve 18 months. It's nonsense to serve half the sentence. Where's the justice? "Sentences such as this do not deter violence. It gives the green light to fighting on a Saturday night.
"We are not vindictive. It's not just Dulu Miah the law is an ass about, it's the whole scenario about people committing manslaughter. The law has to be changed to recognise the terrible impact. Danny has lost his life and his family is going to suffer for the rest of their lives.
"It's a terrible thing. We were a very close family. When you lose someone like that it's devastating. It's a cloud which hangs over us."
Mrs Proctor said she has written to the Crown Prosecution Service, David Blunkett MP, when he was the Home Secretary, and Ipswich MP Chris Mole lobbying for a change in the law, but has failed to get anywhere.