Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Killer Loses Bid to Have His 16-Year Jail Term Cut ; ?Appeal Court Judges Say Sentence Handed to Thug Who Battered Defenceless Man Was'not Excessive'

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Killer Loses Bid to Have His 16-Year Jail Term Cut ; ?Appeal Court Judges Say Sentence Handed to Thug Who Battered Defenceless Man Was'not Excessive'

Article excerpt

aSAVAGE killer who mercilessly beat to death an RAF veteran he wrongly believed had his dog put down has been told by judges his sentence was deserved.

Joe Hasledine punched, kicked and stamped on Christopher Fields' face and head with brutal force while high on drink and drugs.

His motive for the attack was his fixation with the idea the former airman - who served in Iraq and Afghanistan - was involved in his pet's death.

The 25-year-old, of Wellington Road North, Stockport, admitted murder and was jailed for life at Manchester Crown Court in June last year.

He was ordered to serve at least 16-and-a-half years behind bars before he can even apply for parole.

Hasledine challenged his minimum term at London's Criminal Appeal Court, with his lawyers arguing it was far too long for his crime.

But his appeal bid was rejected by three senior judges, who said the 'tariff' was 'justified' in light of the sustained and brutal attack on Mr Fields.

The court heard Hasledine wrongly blamed the 37-year-old for the death of his Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bruno, which was put down after it mauled a miniature dog.

Although the incident happened in the flats where Mr Fields lived, it was captured on CCTV and there was no evidence the veteran was involved in the pet being put down.

On December 12, 2014, after drinking pints and sambuca shots and taking cocaine, Hasledine became aggressive and started talking about the dog and Mr Fields.

He was thrown out of the Wetherspoon's pub he had been drinking in and he and his friends started walking to another bar.

However, when he realised he was near to where Mr Fields lived, he ran from the group, shouting: "I'm going to leather him."

Mr Fields, who retired from the air force on medical grounds in 2006, lived alone in the ground-floor flat in Old Chapel Street, near Stockport town centre. Hasledine got into the flat by smashing the window through into the living room before attacking Mr Fields, causing minor injuries to his face. …

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