Acid attack murderers set to appeal convictions

Police guard the house in Rayleigh Street.

Barry Selby, acid attack victim.

Andrew Feather (23)

Joseph Lowther (22)

Lee Calvert (23)

Robert Woodhead (28)

First published in News

Four men, found guilty of the acid attack murder of family man Barry Selby, are set to appeal against their convictions and sentences.

Lawyers for Lee Calvert, Joseph Lowther, Robert Woodhead and Andrew Feather are considering challenging the verdicts in all the cases at the Court of Appeal.

Solicitors representing Lowther, Woodhead and Feather have said they are definitely going to appeal, while Calvert's representatives are considering their position.

Dad-of-three Mr Selby, 50, died in hospital four days after sulphuric acid was poured over him and he was shot in the leg in the bedroom of his home in Rayleigh Street, East Bowling. Masked intruders smashed their way into his home and broke his bedroom door off its hinges before attacking him as his wife, Donna, hid in terror behind the bed.

His family has criticised the decision to appeal.

The four defendants were all convicted of murder after a six-week trial during which none of them chose to give evidence in their defence.

Some of the prosecution witnesses in the highly sensitive case gave their evidence anonymously. Some of the defendants are now planning to challenge the fairness of that on the basis that the evidence could not be challenged by their lawyers.

Calvert, 23, of Stirling Crescent, Holme Wood, Bradford, who was said to have fired the gun and thrown the acid, was sentenced to a minimum of 36 years behind bars before he can be considered for release.

Lowther, 22, of Copgrove Road, Holme Wood, and Woodhead, 28, of Fred's Place, Tyersal, were told they must serve at least 32 years, while getaway driver Feather, of Heysham Drive, Holme Wood, was given a minimum of 26 years.

Yusuf Khan, of Kamrans solicitors, representing Calvert, said they were considering appeal options. "No decision has been taken. We are waiting for advice from legal counsel, but it is a possibility we could appeal against conviction and sentence."

Alistair Bateman, legal advocate for Lowther, and Woodhead's solicitor Tariq Khan, both said they would be appealing against conviction and sentence.

Mr Bateman said one of the grounds being considered was that principle evidence was given anonymously which could not be challenged fairly.

Andrew Walker, representing Feather, said grounds for appeal against the sentence were being put together, and more than likely also against conviction.

Barry Selby's family yesterday insisted his killers had had the chance to protest their innocence in court.

A family spokesman said: "We understand the reasoning behind them wanting to appeal and we understand them protesting their innocence - but it is too late.

"We went through six weeks of torture listening to the trial and we were shocked that they did not put up a defence, but that was their choice.

"The jury found them guilty and that should be the end of the matter. They were 12 individuals who had no reason to find them guilty unless they were, having been directed by a High Court judge who listened to every scrap of evidence.

"As far as we are concerned justice has been served. We chose to prove their guilt, they chose not to defend their innocence."

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