An Ilkeston youth jailed for battering his mother’s boyfriend to death has won a cut in the time he must spend in prison.
Michael Brett Williamson was only 16 when he attacked Adrian Roe with a fence post, clubbing him over the head and causing fatal injuries.
The teenager, then of Wentworth Street, was convicted of murder on the basis that he intended harm but not death and was sentenced to at least nine years behind bars at Derby Crown Court in April, 2007.
But after a review, a High Court judge found that the now 23-year-old’s ‘exceptional progress’ behind bars justifies that term being cut to eight-and-a-half years.
The decision, by Mr Justice Foskett, means Williamson will be eligible for parole at the beginning of 2015 and so could be back on the streets in just over two years.
The judge said he took into account the feelings of Mr Roe’s family, who were angry and upset that the sentence might be reduced, but it was ‘fair’ to reduce the term.
The crown court heard in 2007 that Williamson had witnessed his mother arguing with Mr Roe at the Ilford pub, now the Good Old Days, on July 1, 2006, and shouted at them to stop.
He then cycled away, but returned with a piece of wood he found in the street, and hit the victim over the head. Mr Roe died a few days later.
Williamson later said that Mr Roe had been drinking more and more in the years leading to the attack and had been violent and aggressive.
He had twice seen him attack his mum and Mr Roe had sometimes threatened him as well.
However, Williamson expressed remorse to those who dealt with him and was ‘open and honest’ about the nature of his crime, Mr Justice Foskett said.
The judge said the progress made by Williamson since he was locked up was so great that his potential date of release should be brought forward.
There is ‘no doubt’ that he had shown ‘an inner determination and resolve’ to progress to become the ‘promising young man’ that he now is, he said.
“He has maintained an extremely good record inside the custodial estate and there has been no adverse comment or disciplinary matter recorded against him in the nearly six-and-a-half years he has been in custody,” he said.
“Given all these factors, it does seem to me to be only fair to conclude that he has made exceptional progress and merits consideration for a reduction in his tariff.”
The judge cut the minimum term to eight-and-a-half years, but due to the time he had served before he was sentenced, Williamson will be eligible for parole in January 2015.