‘My Gerard does not deserve to be in jail’

Toni Murphy from Rainhill, holds a photograph of her boyfriend, Gerard Childs, who has been convicted of murder under the law of joint enterprise.
Toni Murphy from Rainhill, holds a photograph of her boyfriend, Gerard Childs, who has been convicted of murder under the law of joint enterprise.

A Prescot woman whose boyfriend is serving life for murder is set to step up her campaign against the law of joint enterprise.

Toni Murphy claims her partner, Gerard Childs is a victim of injustice.

And this week she is set to take her crusade to Liverpool Lime Street station as part of a co-ordinated nationwide protest by the Jengba campaign group she supports - Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association.

She is set to be joined in Liverpool by Janet Cunliffe, whose son Jordan was given a life sentence for his part in a gang attack.

Childs was convicted of the murder of Jonathan Fitchett in December 2013 - alongside Stephen Price - despite it being unclear who had landed the fatal blow.

Other protests are planned this Friday (February 6) in London, Leeds and Leicester.

Cunliffe was given a life sentence for his part in the brutal killing of Warrington dad Garry Newlove in 2007 despite there being little evidence that the then 16-year-old touched him.

He was sentenced because he was part of the group that killed Mr Newlove and because he did nothing to prevent the crime.

Mrs Cunliffe says this was unfair because the onslaught was over in a matter of seconds and so there was little time to thwart it and also because her son is partially-sighted.

Last year, both Childs and Price were given hope in their bid to appeal against their convictions too.

A judge at London’s Appeal Court ruled that both defendants’ cases in challenging the safety of their verdicts were “arguable”.

Ms Murphy said: “It’s an exciting time for us as Gerard’s appeal is pending. It would be brilliant, with the forthcoming election, for joint enterprise to be debated by MPs too – as it needs to be. Hopefully the Government will either abolish the law of joint enterprise or, at the very least, seriously reform it.”