Postmaster's killers to serve at least 34 years

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The Independent Online

Three men who murdered a sub-postmaster were jailed for life with a minimum of 34 years today by a judge who branded them "parasitic criminals".

Christopher Morrissey, 32, his brother Declan Morrissey, 34, and Anselm Ribera, 34, murdered 29-year-old Craig Hodson-Walker during an attempted robbery at the post office he ran with his parents in Fairfield, Worcestershire.

The gang, all from Birmingham, also attempted to murder Mr Hodson-Walker's father Ken - shooting him in the leg in the January raid.

They were sentenced by Mr Justice Colman Treacy at Birmingham Crown Court.

As he sentenced the trio, the trial judge said he had been shocked at what he saw of their crime.

Mr Justice Colman Treacy said: "The crimes committed at Fairfield post office on the morning of January 9 were wicked and ruthless.

"Even after many years in law, I confess that on first seeing the CCTV of the murderous raid, I was shocked by what I saw.

"The effect of what the raiders did has been catastrophic to the Hodson-Walker family and his fiancee Lisa Bundy."

Mr Justice Treacy said he would order anyone considering the release of the three men to view the CCTV of the raid as part of their decision.

He said: "Parents have lost a 29-year-old son who, behaving with great courage, did no more than seek to protect the persons and business of his parents.

"Lisa Bundy has lost her life partner.

"Unlike the violent parasitic criminals that these three are, the Hodson-Walkers were a hard-working, respectable family providing a valuable service to their local community.

"They have had great and lasting grief brought into their lives."

The three murderers did not appear in court today, which the judge said was their own choice.

He added: "It comes as no surprise to this court.

"They have shown no remorse, no shame and no contrition throughout these proceedings.

"They appeared indifferent to the dreadful crime that they have committed and the consequences for their innocent victims.

"While such attitudes persist in three men who have led a life of crime, their prospects of release at any point in the future are slim.

"I regard each of them as a real danger to the public."