A killer who brutally kicked to death the father of missing Blackpool schoolgirl Paige Chivers can have no possible complaint about his conviction, top judges have ruled.
Sean Conlon, 45, killed Frank Chivers – the father of 15-year-old Paige, who disappeared seven years ago – during a vicious attack in August 2013.
Conlon, of no fixed address, was handed a life sentence at Preston Crown Court, last February, after he was convicted of murdering his former roommate.
Now three senior judges at London’s Criminal Appeal Court rejected Conlon’s conviction challenge, saying claims he did not receive a fair trial are “inarguable”.
Lady Justice Arden said Conlon kicked Mr Chivers to the face during the fatal attack at the victim’s flat in Walter Robinson Court, Layton.
After his arrest, Conlon denied any wrongdoing, claiming Mr Chivers had taken drugs and drink immediately before he simply “keeled over” and died.
But prosecutors pointed to evidence suggesting Conlon carried out the killing after accusing Mr Chivers of stealing money from him.
They also highlighted the opinion of a pathologist that the victim had received blows to the face.
Conlon’s denials were disbelieved by the jury and the judge ordered him to serve a minimum of 14 years and 191 days behind bars before his release would even be considered.
On appeal, Conlon criticised his trial lawyers.
He said the judge should have adjourned the case after he sacked his legal team on the last day of the trial.
But Lady Justice Arden, sitting with Mr Justice Green and Judge Keith Cutler QC, said criticisms of Conlon’s former lawyers were “unfounded”.
His other complaints were also without merit and the appeal judge told him: “None of your grounds of appeal are arguable.
“Your conviction is not arguably unsafe”.
Paige Chivers has not been seen since she was last spotted in Bispham during the August bank holiday in 2007, despite numerous high-profile appeals for her safe return.