TWO Huddersfield teenagers convicted of murdering an Asian taxi driver in a racist attack in Huddersfield have failed in their bid to have their jail terms shortened.
It means both Graeme Paul Slavin and Steven Utley must serve at least 17 years in prison for killing father-of-three Mohammed Parvaiz in Golcar.
They, along with two others jailed for murder – Christopher Murphy who was found guilty and Michael Hand who pleaded guilty – were given life sentences.
Murphy and Hand were given longer tariffs with Murphy receiving 25 years and Hand 21 because they had stolen £80 and a watch from Mr Parvaiz.
Barristers for Slavin, of Lindley, and Utley, of Golcar, had gone to the Court Of Appeal to argue that the tariffs were too long and the starting point should have been lower.
Their barristers told judges that the tariffs should be cut because there was no intention to kill Mr Parvaiz, who lived in Birkby.
But Lord Justice Gage sitting with Lord Justice Hughes and Judge David Paget said the attack on Mr Parvaiz was “horrific.’’
Agreeing with the sentencing judge’s remarks that the attack was “savage beyond belief” he added that the last words the 41-year-old victim would have heard would have been racist abuse directed towards him.
Lord Justice Gage said: “We see no arguable ground for saying that the starting point of 17 years in each case was too long or manifestly excessive.’’
He also rejected arguments from Slavin’s lawyers that his tariff should be cut because of his good progress in prison where he is taking an open university course and is a member of the basketball and volleyball teams.
The court heard that Mr Parvaiz was the innocent victim of an ongoing feud between and group of white and a group of Asian youths.
On June 11, 2006, there was an incident at Elmfield Avenue in Golcar at a flat where Utley lived. A motor scooter belonging to one of Utley’s friends was damaged by an Asian gang who had been unwittingly driven to the scene by Mr Parvaiz in his taxi.
He didn’t realise their intentions and at one point had become so scared during the incident he tried to drive off.
Five weeks later on July 22 he was lured to isolated Field Head in Golcar by his killers who had been smoking cannabis and drinking.
When Mr Parvaiz arrived he thought he was collecting a normal fare, but instead the windows of his car were smashed and he was dragged from the vehicle, beaten, kicked and stamped on. He died from his injuries.
Two other youths, Michael Beeby, 16, and Jason Harris, 17, were found not guilty of murder and manslaughter, but admitted violent disorder.