Killer fails in appeal

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A ‘DANGEROUS’ Doncaster man who stabbed a friend to death after a row at a party has had his pleas for a shorter sentence thrown out by top judges.

Scott Anderson, aged 21, of Balfour Road, Bentley, was jailed indefinitely for public protection at Sheffield Crown Court last December after he admitted the manslaughter of 24-year-old Brian Wilburn during a party.

The open-ended sentence is almost identical to a life term and Anderson was told he must serve at least four years and eight months behind bars before he can even apply for parole.

Anderson has initially abandoned an appeal against the minimum term – saying he feared the impact on his own and his victim’s family – and three senior judges, sitting at London’s Court of Appeal, refused to let him backtrack and reopen his challenge.

Mr Justice Hickinbottom told the court Anderson committed a string of offences in 2010, the last of which resulted in Mr Wilburn’s death. He walked free from Doncaster Crown Court in June last year after being given a nine-month suspended sentence for an attack on a girl at a party.

But his crime spree continued later that month when Anderson assaulted a man with a plastic cider bottle and kicked him in the head after he was refused a cigarette.

In July he was at a house party with his friend Mr Wilburn, who kicked him playfully in the back.

A row between the two ensued and Anderson went to the kitchen and came back with a large knife which he plunged into Mr Wilburn’s leg, the judge said.

The blade severed an artery in Mr Wilburn’s thigh and, despite being rushed to hospital, he bled to death.

The court heard Anderson had been granted permission to appeal his sentence, but withdrew the appeal because he feared it would cause trouble for his family and distress to Mr Wilburn’s relatives.

Lawyers for Anderson later attempted to have the appeal reinstated, saying he had changed his mind and now felt his minimum term was ‘manifestly excessive’.

But Mr Justice Hickinbottom, sitting with Lord Justice Laws and Mr Justice Bean, said it was important for both Anderson and his victim’s family that a line be drawn under the case, and rejected his bid to reopen the appeal.

He said: “We are sensitive to the fact the appellant was a friend of the victim and may feel particular guilt or remorse for the consequences of what he has done. However, it is quite clear that when he completed the form it reflected a fully informed decision to abandon the appeal.”