Sobers appealing against murder

CONVICTED killer Leon Sobers is appealing against his conviction for the murder of Ipswich barmaid Janet Fleming, the Evening Star can exclusively reveal today.


by LISA BAXTER, crime reporter

CONVICTED killer Leon Sobers is appealing against his conviction for the murder of Ipswich barmaid Janet Fleming, The Evening Star can reveal today.

Sobers was jailed for life last year, along with his co-accused Damien Duberry, for murdering the

38-year-old single mum during a pub robbery.

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Both men pleaded not guilty to murder and

robbery, but a jury convicted them. The trial judge, the Honourable Mr Justice Moses, sentenced them each to two terms of life imprisonment.

The Court of Appeal has confirmed that a single judge, Mr Justice Eady, had already refused Sobers leave to appeal. The application has now been "renewed" to a full court of three judges, who will decide whether Sobers' appeal can go ahead.

Sobers' London lawyer Vince Reveglia said: "We're appealing against his conviction for murder on the basis that there was no evidence linking him to the murder at all.

"The evidence shows the murder was committed by the co-defendant outside the enterprise of the robbery."

Mr Reveglia added: "We hope it will be heard in the next few months."

Ms Fleming's mother, Freda, who lives in Sudbury, today said the appeal was not unexpected. She declined to comment further.

Sobers, formerly of Birkfield Drive, Ipswich, lodged an appeal against his murder conviction on December 7, 2001. That came just three days before the first anniversary of the pub raid during which Ms Fleming sustained fatal head injuries, and less than two months after his conviction for her murder.

Ms Fleming died less than two days after she was attacked outside Harleys pub on Stoke Park Drive, where she had just finished a shift on December 10, 2000.

Police believe she returned to the pub after hearing the commotion of her colleague, temporary landlord Andrew Hull, being robbed inside as two raiders stole takings from the safe.

The jury at Norwich Crown Court convicted Sobers and Duberry of murder and robbery after a two-week trail.

The court heard that Duberry, 21, formerly of Morland Road, had struck Ms Fleming on the head with a gun and then stamped repeatedly on her head outside the pub while Sobers remained inside with Mr Hull.

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