A FATHER and son who shot dead Tasawar Hussain after an armed raid have failed to win a cut in the minimum number of years they must spend behind bars.
Barry Elener, of Freshfield Gardens, Allerton, Bradford and his father Derek, of Reevy Road, Buttershaw, Bradford were sentenced to life at Leeds Crown Court earlier this year.
Barry Elener, 42, was convicted of shooting dead Mr Hussain 36, and his father, 65, admitted the killing - as well as a number of other violent robberies where security guards were shot.
Mr Justice Wakerley set their tariffs - the minimum number of years the pair must spend behind bars before being considered for parole - at 27 years for Barry Elener and 25 years for Derek Elener.
Both challenged their tariffs as "manifestly excessive" at London's Court of Appeal in a test case that challenged sentencing guidelines.
Barry Elener's QC, Ben Nolan, argued the shooting had been decided "in a moment" during the escape from the robbery.
He added that insufficient credit had been given for his client's good character.
Gareth Evans QC said Derek Elener's courageous decision to plead guilty had been ignored.
The barrister added that he was "contrite", had not pulled the trigger and faced dying while in prison.
But England and Wales top judge, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf, said both men had been given all the credit they deserved and the starting point for their crimes was 30 years.
Describing what happened as "very serious indeed", he said it was fortunate that only Mr Hussain was killed.
He said the crimes were `professional' and despite Derek Elener's age he must be severely punished, while his son had happily joined in once the pattern for the robberies had been established.
Lord Woolf's ruling came after a special five-judge court - made up of the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Justice Judge, Mr Justice Holland, Mr Justice Astill and Mr Justice Gross - heard the test case into the length of tariffs and how they had been arrived at.
Two other lifers had also challenged their minimum terms, because like the Eleners they were sentenced in an interim period following the Home Secretary being stripped of his powers to set the tariff for murderers.