A gunman who murdered a young father in a shooting attack near to a children’s play park has lost a bid to reduce his minimum jail term.
Jordan Owens was jailed for life and ordered to serve at least 23 years as a punishment part of the sentence after he was convicted of the murder of Jamie Lee in Castlemilk, in Glasgow.
Owens, 28, challenged the minimum term which he must serve before he is eligible to seek parole as “excessive” at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh.
But Scotland’s senior judge, the Lord Justice General Lord Carloway, said: “The court is unable to hold this punishment part is excessive and it will therefore refuse the appeal.”
Lord Carloway, who heard the appeal with Lord Pentland and Lord Matthews, said it had been submitted that they should take into account Owens’ relative youth at the time of the murder on July 8 in 2017 and his immaturity.
However, the senior judge said the offence involved the use of a firearm in a lethal way in the context of gang violence in the Castlemilk area.
He said it was inevitably going to attract a punishment part of a considerable length, particularly as Owens was also convicted of attempting to murder a second man, Joseph Lee, who was also shot in the arm on the same night on land near to Ballantay Terrace, Glasgow.
Lord Beckett, the trial judge who sentenced Owens, told him: “Jamie Lee lost his life in his early 20s. His family have had to suffer his loss and his child will grow up without his father.”
Owens, from Castlemilk, had armed himself with a gun and equipped himself with a bullet proof vest before the fatal confrontation.
He subsequently fled abroad as a fugitive but was tracked down in Portugal and returned to Scotland to face justice.
Defence counsel Brian McConnachie QC told the appeal judges: “It is entirely accepted, having regard to the nature of the conviction and the use of a firearm, that the punishment part to be imposed in this case would be at the higher end of the scale.”
He said: “This was effectively a low level feud involving rival gangs in the Castlemilk area of Glasgow.”
But Mr McConnachie said that Owens was aged only 23 at the time of the commission of the offences and his age was a factor that impacted on his culpability over the crime.
He argued that it could be distinguished from shooting murders involving contract assassinations or serious, organised crime hits.
The appeal judges said they would give fuller reasons for their decision at a later date.