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Southampton law student imprisoned for manslaughter APPEALS conviction and sentence

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He was given six years for killing a father-of-ten on Valentine’s Day

An aspiring lawyer who was found guilty of manslaughter during the final year of his University of Southampton law degree has made an application to appeal his conviction and six-year custodial sentence.

Ryan Cooper was 21 when he was sentenced in April over the death of 49-year-old Gary Stacey. The father-of-ten was found on the street by a bus driver in the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2016. He later died of head injuries in Southampton General Hospital.

Gary Stacey

The Russell Group LLB-er — who will almost certainly have studied criminal law in his first year at university — pleaded not guilty to manslaughter. Though he did not deny throwing the fatal punch, he claimed his actions were in self defence. He said in a police interview:

[Stacey] looked like he was going to hit me, so I just jabbed him to get him away.

However, prosecuting barrister Andrew Houston claimed Cooper’s actions were unprovoked and dismissed his self defence claims as “made up”. Lawyers also noted Cooper — in his second year of his LLB at the time of the offence — bragged on Facebook that he’d drunk half a litre of vodka and done a line of cocaine on the night of Stacey’s death.

A jury at Winchester Crown Court found him guilty. Sentencing, Mr Justice Warby said:

This is a very sad case. You will miss your finals. There will inevitably be an impact on your future career choices. I am sure you would take back those two seconds if only you could. But of course you can’t. The case is sadder for Gary Stacey and his family.

Having spoken to the Court of Appeal Criminal Division this morning, Legal Cheek can confirm Cooper has made an application for permission to appeal against both conviction and sentence. The outcome of this application is pending and still in its early stages, but will be reviewed by a judge in due course.

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18 Comments

Cackling Ball of Excrement

And the ground (s) of appeal are?

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Father of 10, says a lot lol.

(9)(18)

SocialistLawyer

..that he’s more fertile than you?

(23)(2)

Anonymous

It would be difficult to legitimately argue with that one.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

That he was killed by an individual who, on the night in question, purportedly gloated about being coked-up and also the volume of alcohol he had consumed?

(10)(2)

Anonymous

Not much to lose with this appeal. They tend to uphold rather than increase sentences.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

What power does the Court of Appeal have to increase sentence on an appeal by the defendant ?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

There is no power to increase sentence, only to remove credit for days spent on remand.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

AG can apply to increase sentence

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Agreed that he has nothing to lose by appealing both conviction and sentence. He was a fool to boast on FB about the vodka and coke. The jury are likely to have formed a very bad impression and may have decided not to give him the benefit of the doubt on self defence. If he was drunk, he wasn’t exercising any judgment as to the perceived threat and he was more likely to be the aggressor. The CA may well take the same view unless a new witness has come forward to support Cooper’s defence.

Six years is a heavy price to pay for a single jab but Mr Stacey and his family are paying a heavier price.

(10)(0)

Anonymous

Vodka and coke and coke*

(3)(0)

Anonymous

He has a loss of time direction to lose.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

But as Hallett, L.J. said in Gray and ors, the single judge reviewing the leave application would rarely make a loss of time direction then and there, normally the judge would just warn the applicant that they might face such an order if they renew to the full court. Far as I can see nothing to lose in making a leave application to a single judge, surely?

(0)(0)

JD Partner

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

I hope the prosecuting lawyer had not taken it upon himself to give evidence in order to secure a conviction. The article says a bus driver found him. So how did the prosecuting lawyer get his instructions that there was no self defence?

What a plank. There’s a lot of money for parasites if you don’t encourage people to treat their bodies like temples.

(0)(7)

Anonymous

I’m so pleased you put the word “appeals” in upper case. Just in case anyone forgot that your news values are those of the Daily Mail.

DAILY MAIL.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

News to me that Southampton is a Russell Group University

(2)(3)

Sherry Chen

There should be no way for a liar to take a career as a lawyer in the future,just because he is still trying to appeal in the name of self confidence, which was only an excuse of his aggressive behavior when he was drunk.

(0)(0)

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