A hair fetishist who murdered and mutilated a mother of two won an appeal yesterday against an order which prevented him from ever being released.
Danilo Restivo, who killed Heather Barnett, 48, from Sturminster Newton, Dorset, in 2002, had his “whole-life” tariff overturned by the Court of Appeal and replaced by a minimum term of 40 years.
Restivo was given a whole-life tariff in June last year for the “depraved” and “callous” murder and mutilation of Ms Barnett at her flat in Charminster, Bournemouth. The Italian national, now 40, was found guilty by a jury at Winchester Crown Court last year.
Five judges in London also announced that they were reducing the whole-life order imposed on “Bermondsey Beast” rapist Michael Roberts to a minimum term of 25 years.
But the court refused to quash the whole-life order in the case of killer David Oakes, who “sadistically tortured” his former partner before shooting her and their two-year-old daughter.
The panel, headed by Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, also upheld the 30-year minimum term imposed on Kiaran Stapleton, who was jailed for life after he “executed” a stranger in the street.
Although the judges overturned the whole-life orders in the cases of Restivo and Roberts, they announced that the imposition of such orders was not incompatible with Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which prohibits torture and inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment.
The appellants are all still subject to life sentences and may apply for parole once a minimum term has expired, but will not be released until they are deemed to no longer pose a threat to the public. Lord Judge said he thought it was “highly unlikely” that they would be released.
Rapist Roberts, who terrorised elderly women in the London suburb of Bermondsey for more than a decade, was jailed in January and told he would live out his days behind bars.
Oakes, 51, of Canney Road, Steeple, Essex, who “sadistically tortured” his former partner before shooting her and their two-year-old daughter, was told at Chelmsford Crown Court in May that he will never be released after a jury found him guilty.