Plaistow pub killer loses freedom bid

A killer who says he is a now a different man from the 17- year-old thug who shot a man dead in a Plaistow pub has failed to convince a top judge he deserves early release from prison.

Daniel Clarke, a cousin of singer Tyler James, was detained for life at the Old Bailey in May 2001 after a jury convicted him of murdering 19-year-old Ricky Rising in the Green Gate pub.

Clarke shot his former friend in the back, believing he had “grassed” on him to police.

He has been told that he must serve a minimum of 15 years and four months behind bars for his crime and will be aged 33 and have spent all of his adult life in prison by the time he can ask the parole board to free him in September 2016.

At London’s High Court, Clarke made an impassioned plea for a reduction in that minimum term on grounds of good behaviour. His lawyers argued age and maturity had transformed him and that he had made “dramatic and exceptional” progress behind bars.

Judge, Mr Justice Singh, was told that Clarke is “genuinely sorry for the hurt he has caused.”

However, refusing Clarke’s bid, the judge said that, although he made “good progress”, it was not so “exceptional and unforeseen” as to justify the cut.