Singer weeps as brother's killer is jailed for life

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The Independent Online

The soul singer Mica Paris wept at the Old Bailey yesterday after the killer of her half-brother Jason Phillips was jailed for life.

Ms Paris comforted their mother, Cherry, as Peter Hutchinson, 34, was led away to the cells.

The Old Bailey had heard that Hutchinson repeatedly shot Mr Phillips, a 22-year-old postman, in a street in Croydon in February last year.

Two days before the murder, the killer had attempted to "chat up" Michelle Brooks – Mr Phillips' partner and the mother of his two children – at a bus stop. When she rejected him he threw a bottle at her.

Mr Phillips went to challenge Hutchinson over the incident and was coldly shot down, the court was told.

Jonathan Laidlaw, for the prosecution, said that on 14 February Mr Phillips saw Hutchinson's car pass his house in Croydon and made the fatal decision to confront him. Almost immediately Hutchinson took out his gun and began to open fire.

The jury heard how the first shot hit Mr Phillips at point-blank range. He turned and ran, desperately zigzagging across the road to avoid the bullets. The firing continued after Mr Phillips held his hands up and shouted: "Leave it, I've had enough."

One bullet passed through his shoulder and damaged an artery. Paramedics revived Mr Phillips at the scene in Oak Avenue but he died of blood loss in hospital an hour later.

Hutchinson fled to Leicester and was arrested hiding in a bus station. The killer claimed that he thought Mr Phillips was armed. He said: "I saw this hand movement from his side. I thought this guy was definitely going for a gun. I got my gun from behind my back and shot him."

Two psychiatrists testified that Hutchinson, who had been involved in drug crime, was suffering from a delusional disorder and was not fully aware of his actions. The jury rejected his claims after hearing how Hutchinson had made a full recovery from his "mental illness" in prison.

Ms Paris said: "We are broken as a family. We will never be the same again. We are happy with the verdict. We have taken someone really dangerous off the streets."