Murderer fails in challenge to 28-year term

Killer Graham Cox has been told he cannot appeal his 28-year sentence
Killer Graham Cox has been told he cannot appeal his 28-year sentence
  • Graham Benjamin Cox has failed in a bid to challenge his minimum 28-year jail term
  • He stabbed Helen Cox and Thomas McLoughlin in December 2008
  • Cox bound and gagged his wife, 40, before killing her partner
  • Cox stabbed 60-year-old Mr McLoughlin 24 times and Mrs Cox 15 times with a 15in kitchen knife
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A cold-blooded killer, who murdered his estranged wife and her boyfriend, has failed in a bid to challenge his minimum 28-year jail term.

Graham Benjamin Cox stabbed Helen Cox and Thomas McLoughlin in December 2008, after hiding in a cupboard at his wife’s flat to spy on the couple.

It would be highly offensive on my part to apply for my tariff to be reduced

The 63-year-old, of Pleasant Street, Blackpool, was jailed for life and ordered to serve at least 28 years behind bars at Preston Crown Court in May 2009.

He attempted to launch an appeal against his ‘tariff’, having abandoned a previous challenge because of the ‘upset’ he would cause the victims’ families.

His lawyers argued, at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, that he was not thinking straight when he decided to withdraw his appeal. He had been influenced by work he was doing in prison to face up to his crimes, they said.

But he was told by top judges that he could not have a fresh appeal, simply because he had ‘changed his mind’.

Cox stabbed 60-year-old Mr McLoughlin 24 times and Mrs Cox 15 times with a 15in kitchen knife at a flat in Central Drive, Blackpool.

On 22 December 2008, he saw the couple leave their flat to go to the pub and used a spare key to let himself in, armed with the knife.

He then hid in a cupboard, where he listened to their conversation until Mr McLoughlin went out to a late-night garage.

Cox bound and gagged his wife, 40, before killing her partner when he returned.

The mother-of-five listened as he stabbed Mr McLoughlin, and Cox then showed her the body before plunging the knife into her throat.

In May last year, five years after he was handed the life sentence, Cox launched an appeal against his minimum term, saying it was likely he would die in prison if it was not cut.

But he abandoned his appeal two months later, in a letter to the Court of Appeal.

In the letter, he said he was ‘resigned’ to the fact his tariff was not excessive, given the fact he killed his victims and caused great distress to their families.

He wrote: “It would be highly offensive on my part to apply for my tariff to be reduced.

“To cause further suffering to both families is something I now feel I can’t do.”

However, he later wrote again to the court, saying he had made a mistake and had been ‘wrongly convinced’ that he should not appeal.

His lawyers today urged the Appeal Court to reconsider his case, arguing he was not thinking properly of the consequences at the time he abandoned his challenge.

But, dismissing his application, Mrs Justice Lang said it was ‘stating the obvious’ for him to say that an appeal would cause upset to his victims’ families.

His decision to abandon the appeal could not be reversed, she ruled.

Sitting with Lord Justice Davis and Mr Justice Lewis, she added: “He has since changed his mind, but his decision to abandon was irrevocable and he cannot now reinstate his appeal.”