Convicted killer fails in European Court of Human Rights bid over murder of Sunderland dad

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A SUNDERLAND man jailed for murder under the controversial joint enterprise law has failed in his latest bid for freedom.

Jordan Towers was 16 when he was convicted for his part in the stabbing of Kevin Johnson in Pennywell in May 2007.

Although the prosecution accepted Towers did not inflict the fatal blow, he was convicted on the basis that the killing was a joint enterprise between him and two others.

Towers, now 23, was told he must serve a minimum of 13 years in jail. His family has always maintained his innocence and has called for a change in the law.

Now an attempt to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights has failed.

“We took this to Europe, where a single judge looked at the case,” said sister Ashleigh Towers.

“The case was then struck out because they said we had not exhausted every domestic remedy in the UK.

“This means we have to take Jordan’s case to the Supreme Court before Europe will look at it.”

The family has taken part in a BBC Inside out documentary, looking at the joint enterprise rule.

“We are not calling for joint enterprise to be scrapped, but rather for it to be amended so that it is not used as a dragnet for those on the periphery of crimes,” said Ashleigh.

“I don’t believe my brother should have been convicted of murder.”

Kevin Johnson’s father John has also taken part in the documentary. He believes Jordan Towers’s conviction is sound.

“They are providing no new evidence, which is why it is getting kicked out every time,” he said.

“All this is costing the taxpayer money.

“We try to get on with our lives, to push those bad memories to the back of our minds, but we keep getting reminded of them.

“The people who did this will eventually get out of prison, they will go back to their loved ones and families, but Kevin isn’t coming back to us.

“We are the ones serving the real life sentence.”