Paige killer’s appeal thrown out by top judges

Robert Ewing: guilty of murdering Paige Chivers.

Robert Ewing: guilty of murdering Paige Chivers.

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A ‘devious’ killer from Blackpool whose teenage victim’s body has never been found deserves to die in jail, top judges have ruled.

Paedophile Robert Ewing, 61, of Kincraig Place, Bispham, was caged for life for the murder of 15-year-old Paige Chivers at Preston Crown Court on July 28 last year.

Paige Chivers

Paige Chivers

Ewing was ordered to serve a minimum term of 32 years and 58 days behind bars before he can even apply for parole.

Between August 23 and 27 2007, Ewing killed the ‘troubled teenager’ at his flat.

Then in his 50s, he murdered her to ‘silence her’ – to stop her reporting the illegal sexual contact between them to the police – Lord Justice Lloyd Jones told London’s Appeal Court.

Paige was reported missing on August 26 2007, but her body was never found.

‘Devious’ Ewing knew she was an ‘easy target’ and ‘how vulnerable she was and exploited it’, said the judge who sentenced him.

He gave ‘false explanations’ to police, intimidated certain witnesses and ‘falsely implicated’ others as being involved in an effort the pervert the course of justice.

He had even tried to sell a story about Paige’s disappearance to a national newspaper, the court heard.

Ewing had previous convictions for crimes including theft, forgery, gross indecency with a child and indecent assault.

Today, however, his lawyers argued his minimum jail term was far too tough and ought to be slashed.

They said the crown court judge ‘erred’ in finding that the murder was planned and in imposing a ‘full life’ tariff.

But Lord Justice Lloyd Jones said the judge was ‘clearly entitled’ to conclude the murder was premeditated.

He noted the ‘extreme care’ with which the killing was carried out, shown by only ‘three tiny bloodstains’ being found at Ewing’s home.

“The judge was right to conclude the seriousness of the offence was particularly high,” he added.

Lord Justice Lloyd Jones said he appreciated the sentence imposed is ‘likely to result in Ewing spending the rest of his life in prison’.

But he said reducing the sentence enough to allow any ‘realistic prospect’ of Ewing getting out ‘would be wholly disproportionate to the particular seriousness of this offence’.

“It is simply not arguable that the sentence imposed is manifestly excessive or wrong in principle,” ruled the judge, who was sitting with Mrs Justice Carr and Judge Eleri Rees.