A Sunderland man who was jailed as a teenager for his part in the brutal murder of a young dad has lost his court bid to bring forward his potential release.
Jordan Towers, now 24, was one of a gang-of-three convicted of killing 22-year-old Kevin Johnson in a savage attack in Pennywell in May 2007.
Mr Johnson was assaulted and stabbed after confronting Towers and his friends about their rowdy behaviour.
Although Towers, then of Fell Road, did not use a knife, he was convicted of the murder on the basis of joint enterprise and jailed.
He was ultimately ordered to serve a minimum of 13 years, meaning he could not apply for parole until May 2020.
Applying for a cut to allow an earlier bid for release, he took his case to a High Court judge.
But after considering Towers’ conduct in prison, Mr Justice Collins said he could not recommend that the term be cut.
An expert had assessed Towers and said he was still at least a ‘medium’ risk of further crime, he said.
“He was someone who was easily led and joined in with the wrong crowd. That danger still exists,” he continued.
“In the circumstances, I cannot recommend a reduction in tariff since none of the possible reasons for doing so are met.”
At his trial in 2007, a jury at Newcastle Crown Court heard that Towers had not wielded the knife.
He was convicted on the basis of ‘disgraceful conduct’ on that night, including throwing a lump of concrete or brick at Mr Johnson after he had been stabbed.
His minimum term having been upheld, Towers will have to wait another four-and-a-half years before applying for release.
He will only then be freed if the Parole Board considers he is safe to return to the community.