Murderer is root of evil, says mother of Staffordshire victim

The mother of Staffordshire murder victim Richard Deakin today welcomed a decision by top judges to uphold his killer’s jail sentence – calling him the ‘root of all evil’.

Deakin 6 RH 26
Carol Deakin with a photo of her son

David Harrison shot dead 27-year-old Mr Deakin with a sawn-off shotgun.

He was sent down for 37 years after being found guilty of murder at Birmingham Crown Court in December 2012 but challenged the length of his jail term at the court of appeal.

However, judges ruled that his sentence for the ‘carefully planned and professionally-executed’ murder was justified.

And today Carol Deakin said the decision was the correct one.

“I’m over the moon he didn’t get anything knocked off his sentence,” she said.

“He needs to pay for what he did and he got exactly what he deserved.

“I don’t know how he had the nerve to appeal in the first place.”

Harrison, aged 64 and from Bilston, also launched a bid to try to appeal against his conviction – but this was rejected.

When originally sentenced, Harrison was told he would probably die in jail. He has consistently denied having anything to do with the July 2010 killing at the house in Meadway Street, Chasetown.

Getaway driver Darryl Dickens was convicted alongside Harrison and given 30 years.

Black Country drug lord John Anslow – currently serving 29 years for drug dealing and escaping from a prison van before fleeing to Cyprus – was accused of organising the murder but was found not guilty last month.

Mrs Deakin said her family had been put through enough heartache with two murder trials already.

“As a mother, if David Harrison had a son and I’d gone round to his house and shot him, would he want me to go to prison for a very long time? The answer to that is yes.

“He’s locked in prison now and what has all this achieved?

“It’s a life for a life – he’s the root of all evil.”

Harrison’s barrister Mr Adrian Keeling QC, in bid to get an appeal against his conviction heard by judges, told the Court of Appeal hearing that identification evidence linking Harrison to the murder was ‘weak’.

During his and Dickens’ trial at Birmingham Crown Court, jurors heard that police informant Alan Cash identified Harrison from CCTV footage shown on BBC programme Crimewatch.

Cash recognised Harrison’s limp and noted that his balaclava was sewn up at the mouth – an item Harrison had used before.

Mr Keeling said Cash’s evidence was of characteristics, but not of a specific individual, but this was rejected by judges.

Mr Deakin, 27, said goodbye to his fiancée Megan just minutes before she left the family home in Meadway Street with their two young daughters.