A man who was jailed as a teenager for the racist murder of a Huddersfield taxi driver has had his minimum jail term slashed after a court heard he is a “changed man.” Graeme Paul Slavin, now 28, was one of a gang of four white youths who were caged for the brutal killing of 41-year-old Mohammed Parvaiz in July 2006.
Mr Parvaiz was lured in his taxi to Field Head in Golcar and subjected to a horrendous assault with fists, feet and weapons.
Slavin, who was only 17 at the time, was sentenced to a minimum ‘tariff’ of 17 years behind bars.
But that was cut to 15 years by High Court judge Mrs Justice McGowan today after she heard of the progress he has since made in jail.
In May another of Mr Parvaiz’s killers, Steven Utley , also had his sentence reduced by two years to 15 years for his ‘progress’ in prison.
The judge said Slavin was considered to be a “model prisoner” who had “matured considerably” behind bars.
Cutting the term, the judge stressed that Slavin was guilty of a “truly dreadful crime.”
She added: “It is essential that the family and friends of Mohammed Parvaiz and Slavin himself should understand that a reduction in tariff is not, in any way, to diminish the wickedness and savagery of the assault which killed Mr Parvaiz.
“I have read very carefully the letter which sets out the devastating effect that the murder has and continues to have on their entire family.
“There is no consolation that can be given to a family torn apart by their loss.”
The court heard the attack on Mr Parvaiz had been “racially aggravated and planned” with property stolen from him afterwards.
When first convicted, Slavin had been reluctant to explore the reasons behind, and triggers for, his actions.
He had attended early group work, but completed the course only to a “minimum” standard.
However, his progress had improved to the extent that a senior officer at his prison backed his bid for a cut in the minimum time he must serve.
The officer said there had been a “significant change” in Slavin, who was now a “different person from the one who was sent to prison.”
The report continued: “I do feel that Mr Slavin has shown and displayed exceptional progress in custody beyond all expectations. He was reflective and showed true empathy towards the victim and the victim’s family.
“He totally understands how his involvement and actions led up to him being in prison and he has come a long way since being the young man mixing, associating and affiliating with the wrong peer groups in order to simply fit in.”
Mrs Justice McGowan cut the 17 year minimum term to 15 years, but said that did not mean he would automatically be released at that point.
She stressed: “A reduction in tariff simply means that the consideration of release on licence for the rest of his life can be carried out sooner by the Parole Board.
“It does not necessarily mean that he will be released earlier.”
Murderer Graeme Slavin is the second of taxi driver Mohammed Parvaiz’s killers to have his minimum jail term cut from 17 to 15 years.
And that reduction will no doubt cause further anguish to the 41-year-old victim’s family.
In May we reported that Steven Utley, formerly of Elmfield Avenue, Golcar , had seen his 17-year sentence reduced to 15 years after a court heard of his “progress” behind bars.
Utley was just 17 when he was sent down for murder alongside Christopher Murphy, 18, Michael Hand, 19, and 17-year-old Slavin.
Writing on Facebook in May, Mohammed’s son Ismaeel, who was just 12 at the time of the attack , said: “This has brought back all the pain and anguish we went through 10 years ago. Is this fair? No!
“Someone who has put a family through so much difficulty and hardship should not be released from prison simply on the basis they have behaved good in prison.”
Ismaeel paid tribute to his father, adding: “My dad was the most beautiful father, husband and man anybody could ask for. He never wronged people in life and was always going out of his way to make people smile.
“My dad was in his prime and had so much life ahead of him with his family. I was 12, my sister was eight and my brother had just turned three. My brother and sister and me have missed out on so many years we were supposed to have together as a family.