Baseball bat attack man loses appeal

A 22-year-old who knee-capped a teenager with a baseball bat has failed to have his potentially life-long prison sentence overturned. Roy Matthew Langdale smashed his 17-year-old victim s kneecap on January 2 last year before kidnapping him and subjecting

A 22-year-old who knee-capped a teenager with a baseball bat has failed to have his potentially life-long prison sentence overturned.

Roy Matthew Langdale smashed his 17-year-old victim's kneecap on January 2 last year before kidnapping him and subjecting him to a terrifying ordeal of threats and violence.

Langdale, of Childspond Road, St Neots, was sentenced to indefinite imprisonment for public protection (IPP) at Peterbrough Crown Court in September. He had pleaded guilty to two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, one of kidnapping and one of affray.

Almost identical to a life term, the IPP sentence means Langdale can have no hope of release until he can persuade the authorities he poses no serious public danger. He was also told he must serve a minimum of five-and-a-half years behind bars before he can even ask for parole.


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Last week Langdale's lawyers challenged the IPP and the length of the minimum term before Lord Justice Thomas, Mr Justice Stadlen and Judge Brian Barker at London's Court of Criminal Appeal.

The court heard Langdale had suspected his victim and another youth of attacking his sister and, without any evidence, decided to take the law into his own hands.

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Langdale threatened to burn down the house of the other youth's family, before catching the 17-year-old as he walked down East Street, St Neots, and smashing his kneecap with the bat.

The terrified teenager was then bundled into a car and Langdale took him to a deserted farm building where he was threatened and repeatedly assaulted, including being dropped into a well.

He was eventually dumped on the outskirts of St Neots.

Refusing Langdale permission to appeal, Mr Justice Stadlen said, quoting the sentencing judge: "You took the law into your own hands without any consideration of the truth. It must have been an awful experience for someone so young and someone who didn't deserve to be treated that way."

The appeal judge concluded, dismissing the appeal: "The immensely experienced criminal judge who sentenced the appellant said this offence was one of the worst he had ever encountered.

"While severe, this sentence cannot be regarded as manifestly excessive.

"This was a very serious case in which the victim was put in serious fright of his life. It was a calculated act of vicious humiliation.

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