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Thief loses his bid to be freed from prison

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A robber who is still in prison seven years after he was jailed for a minimum of two has lost his bid for release.

Lewis Charles Welsh (27) was locked up in March 2006 after he admitted robbery and two attempted robberies, committed on the University of Leicester campus.

He was jailed for at least two years, but is still inside as the judge thought there was a significant risk of him causing serious harm in the future.

He gave Welsh an indefinite detention for public protection (DPP) sentence, which requires parole board approval before release.

Five years after the expiry of his minimum term, Welsh's case was back in court last week.

However, at the Court of Appeal in London, Lord Justice Pitchford dismissed his appeal.

Welsh's problems began when he was a child, when he was neglected and subjected to "violent outbursts from his mother", the appeal judge said.

It led to periods in care and foster homes and a very early beginning to his life of crime.

After serving sentences for low-level street robberies, Welsh was released on licence in October 2005.

Less than a month later, he was offending again, threatening to stab two men in incidents on the university campus.

Both got away without losing any of their property, but a third victim was punched and handed over a phone and £30.

At the hearing last week, Welsh's barrister, Stephen Field, argued the crown court judge was wrong to find Welsh "dangerous", a legal term meaning there was a "significant" risk of him causing serious harm. But Lord Justice Pitchford said the appeal had to be decided on details available to the sentencing judge.


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