Moate helper loses sentence appeal

One of the two men who helped gunman Raoul Moat during his shotgun rampage - which left a man dead and a police officer blinded – lost a bid to win a reduction in his “excessive” sentence today.

Karl Ness, 26, from Dudley, North Tyneside, who was jailed for life in March and ordered to serve a minimum of 40 years before he can apply for parole, had his case rejected by three Court of Appeal judges in London.

He and Qhuram Awan, who was also jailed for life and must stay behind bars for at least 20 years, were convicted at Newcastle Crown Court after a five-week trial on a string of serious charges relating to the murderous rampage led by Moat.

Jealous and obsessive former doorman Moat shot his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, 22, and killed her new boyfriend Chris Brown, 29, in Birtley, Tyneside, in July 2010.

The next day he shot and blinded traffic officer Pc David Rathband, leaving him for dead on a roundabout above the A1.

A plea by Ness that his sentence was “excessive” was rejected by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, sitting with Mr Justice Sweeney and Mr Justice Singh.

Announcing the decision, Lord Judge said Ness had taken part in an “appalling catalogue of crime”.

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