Jessie Wright killer Zakk Sacket loses second appeal against murder conviction
PUBLISHED: 07:51 25 February 2012
The parents of murdered teenager Jessie Wright say “the door has finally been closed” on their “years of hell” after judges kicked out the killer’s appeal.
The 16-year-old, who lived on the Bemerton Estate off Caledonian Road, Islington, was strangled by Zakk Sacket during a sex attack in March 2010.
Sacket, 21, formerly of Outram Place, Islington, was locked up for life and ordered to serve at least 25 years behind bars after an Old Bailey jury found him guilty of murder in April last year.
Three Appeal Court judges last week backed the sentence and threw out claims the killing was not connected to sex after Sacket’s second attempt to get the conviction overturned.
Speaking outside court, an emotional Anthony Wright, Jessie’s father, welcomed the decision, saying: “Justice has been done today. It has been two years of hell for us. Now it feels like a door has finally been closed and we can now try to get on with our lives.”
Sacket’s defence claimed he killed Jessie accidentally during a ‘‘playfight’’ after consensual sex.
Jeremy Dein QC, for Sacket, claimed at the appeal it was unfair of the trial judge to find the murder was aggravated by “sexual conduct”, because Sacket had not faced a rape charge. He also argued the 25-year minimum term was “manifestly excessive” considering Sacket has learning difficulties and an IQ in the lowest one per cent of the country.
But Mr Justice Lindblom, sitting with Lady Justice Rafferty and Mr Justice Openshaw, rejected those grounds and ruled the sentence “unimpeachable”.
Lady Justice Rafferty said: “All three of us [judges] have observed the great dignity with which the family have sat respectfully in circumstances that can not have been easy for them. Our hearts go out to them.”
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