A DEWSBURY youth who kicked and stamped a 60-year-old man to death - even though he had no quarrel with him - must serve at least 12 years behind bars for his crime.
The judge, Mr Justice Cooke, ruled it was the least 26-year-old Paul Smith deserved for the savage murder of defenceless Roy Emsley-Smith.
Mr Emsley-Smith had to have both legs amputated after the beating, before dying of his injuries.
Smith, formerly of Commercial Street, Earlsheaton, Dewsbury, was convicted of murder and given a mandatory life sentence at Bradford Crown Court in November, 2003.
A co-accused involved in the attack - two days before Christmas 2002 - was convicted of manslaughter.
After reviewing the case at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Mr Justice Cooke ruled Smith must serve a minimum jail "tariff" of 12 years - the least time he must serve before being considered for parole.
The ruling means that, even after time spent on remand is taken into account, Smith can have no hope of release before September, 2015.
The judge said Mr Emsley-Smith, who was the worse for drink, had no quarrel with Smith.
But Smith, then 21, joined in the attack with his co-accused, raining repeated stamps and kicks on the semi-conscious 60-year-old, causing fatal abdominal injuries.
After the initial attack, Smith returned to the scene and continued his onslaught before leaving Mr Emsley-Smith, who later died despite the medical treatment which included amputation of both legs.
Smith argued the dispute with Mr Emsley-Smith was "not of his making", that it was a "spur of the moment" attack and that he had no intention to kill the man, who was well over twice his age.
Once Smith has served his 12-year tariff, he will only be freed if he can persuade the Parole Board he poses no serious threat to the public. He will remain on perpetual "life licence", subject to prison recall if he puts a foot wrong.