Nightclub gun murder – 28-year minimum term

Ashman

Facts

Vincent Ashman received a mandatory life sentence for the murder of Danny ‘Dannyman’ McCalla.

McCalla, aged 50, was shot six times at the Tropical Harmony club in Bilston in 2009.

The Court heard that Ashman, aged 38, had fled to Jamaica after the shooting but was extradited to the UK in July 2012.

Ashman denied being the man who carried out the shooting but did accept that he was present in the club on the evening.

BBC News reported that the two men were arguing on the dancefloor of the club when shots were fired. The gun was fired seven times, with six bullets hitting McCalla.

There was CCTV evidence which the prosecution claimed showed Ashman holding the murder weapon. Ashman claimed that it was in fact a mobile phone.

The police stated that this wasn’t a gang-related killing and simply arose out of an argument.

Sentencing remarks

There aren’t any. Not even any quoted in the press. Helpful, eh?

Sentence

Ashman received a life sentence – mandatory for murder – with a minimum term of 28 years. Why was that? Well we can assume the starting point was 30 years, as this was a murder involving a firearm.  What has caused the reduction then? Well it isn’t clear, but it may be a combination of the lack of premeditation and the ‘provocation’ (not sufficient to establish a defence) of the argument. There appears to be nothing added on for fleeing the UK for a couple of years to avoid detection. In light of that, he may consider himself lucky not to have a 30 year + tariff.

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