Killers of Lichfield dad are sentenced

Carl Keatley and Jordan Carroll

Carl Keatley and Jordan Carroll

Two people who were convicted of murdering a Lichfield dad have been given life sentences.

Sixteen-year-old Jordan Carroll, of Windmill Close, will serve a minimum of 11 years in prison, while Carl Keatley, 21, of Greencroft, must serve a minumum of 13 years.

The pair attacked Michael Eccles in the Dimbles area of the city in January as he walked home from the shops.

The case shocked local residents, with the court told how the pair kicked and punched Mr Eccles in a vicious attack which left him with fatal injuries.

A jury took less than a day to convict their pair in their trial at Birmingham Crown Court in August.

Jordan Carroll’s father, Edward Carroll (55), also of Windmill Close, was convicted of perverting the course of justice and was given a three year jail term. He washed blood off his son and put his clothes and trainers in their washing machine to get rid of forensic evidence.

Michael Eccles

Michael Eccles

Following their conviction,Ch Supt Mick Harrison, Commander of Trent Valley division which includes Lichfield, said:

“Mr Eccles suffered sickening injuries, in a pointless, savage attack. His death was an utter tragedy. He was a much-loved and devoted family man, who was obviously highly regarded by his friends and colleagues. Our sympathies remain with everyone close to him.

“At the time, Mr Eccles was described by his family as kind, giving and loving – the starkest of contrasts to those who killed him and tried to cover it up.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

15 Comments

  1. Phil (Birmingham)

    2nd October, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Unprovoked acts of this nature should warrant 30 year minimum prison sentences. Stamping and kicking someone to death, leaving families in turmoil for 11 and 13 year prison sentences is just not justified and does not protect the public enough as far as I am concerned. I think that most people would be happy that their taxes pay to keep people like these out of society ensuring they lose privileges law abiding citizens have.
    These criminals could be out in their minimum sentence on good behavior. Why are prisoners let out early for good behavior? Prison terms should always be fixed to a minimum and increased for any additional bad behavior. The UK “justice” system is backwards and is on the side of criminal’s more than good honest people.

  2. Unconcerned Citizen

    2nd October, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    I think there is little point in a 30 year sentence.
    30 years in a box sends most people insane. Even the Kray twins agreed with this. If rehabilitation is unlikely, there is little point in keeping them alive.

    In a case of brutal unprovoked murder, where guilt is indisputable due to a large number of witnesses – we might as well just execute them.

    However – whilst the UK ‘justice’ system is backwards and rather questionable – i too will be happier with longer sentences for dangerous criminals.

  3. Phil (Birmingham)

    2nd October, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    These two murderers have given the victims families a real lifetime sentence of hurt and misery. Death is too easy as an answer for these people, I have no problem with them going insane in prison for what they have done but there are too many “pro-criminal” human rights advocates out there that allow prisons to become playgrounds for criminals. Someone killing a child while they are on a mobile may truly show remorse, possibly even straight away and rehabilitation is a none issue the incident in it’s own right would devastate the person driving for the rest of their life. But these low lifes deserve nothing more than four walls, a sink, slops and a toilet.

  4. Andy JS

    2nd October, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Yesterday 3 pensioners were jailed for up to 9 and a half years for smuggling cannabis. Today a Lichfield murderer gets an 11 year sentence. Are judges deliberately trying to wind people up?

  5. Norman the Storeman

    3rd October, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Whoa… now hang on a minute everybody, let us try to get a sense of proportion here.

    Of course, the family of the victim and the people of Lichfield are, with every justification, angry about this case and its repercussions, (cf The Sun’s website; typical comment, ‘bring back hanging, etc.’), but as a result perhaps they are not listening to what the Judge actually said to these young people, (one of whom, remember, is still a minor), when he sentenced them to mandatory life sentences for Michael Eccles’s murder.

    What Keatley and Carroll have done is terrible and the damage they have caused is a tragedy for everyone involved, but we should not forget their sentences are for life; the 13 and 11 years respectively are the minimum they must serve in custody – there are no guarantees of release after that time. Thus, and as it stands, as punishment for his actions, Carroll will spend nearly the equivalent of three-quarters of current age to date in custody, Keatley nearer to half of his life to date. The equivalent for a forty-year-old would be nearly thirty years or close to twenty years in Keatley’s case. Perhaps when people are saying that Judge Roberts has been too lenient, we should reflect on the reality of what their sentence will mean these young men.

    In forming a judgement in regard to this matter, I would ask people to consider their own teenage years and all the mistakes they made, albeit probably not as serious as those made in this case. I also ask them to consider how far away 27 (the earliest age Carroll could be released), felt at 16. Thus perhaps this sentence was appropriate rather than unduly lenient.

    Maybe we need reminding what mandatory life sentences for murder actually are. As the judge said, ‘you will remain under state control for the rest of your lives’. Carroll and Keatley will have to serve their 11 and 13 years as a minimum before the parole board will consider their release. There are no guarantees that they will be granted release after that time, but in any event, their life sentence does not end if, and when, they are released from custody. And in order to be released they will have to demonstrate that they pose little threat to the public and that they have expressed appropriate remorse for what they have done. Most lifers do not get parole at their first attempt.

    And if they are released, quite rightly, they will always be supervised and managed by a probation officer who will in effect control their lives; they will be told what they can and can’t do, where they can live and who they can or can’t associate with. They can never leave the country. And, at any point, if they are considered to present a risk they can be recalled to custody at a moment’s notice. That is the reality of a mandatory life sentence, deserved or otherwise.

    These pair may not be incarcerated for the rest of their lives, but what point would that serve anyway…? Some say it would be a deterrent to others and cite the lack of harsh sentencing as the cause of society’s decline and ills. But, in reality, do we really think that this pair considered the consequences of their assault when they embarked on their fateful attack? This was simply a reactive, reckless and malicious attack committed by two drunken young men who went too far. Sadly, as a result a man has died. But to paint Keatley and Carroll as inherently evil is to misrepresent the facts of the case. Psychopathic dictators and mass murderers are evil…Keatley and Carroll are sad and pitiful creatures, who through their regular abuse of alcohol and drugs have already ruined their own lives as well as those of their victims.

    Also perhaps when jumping to characterise Carroll as an ‘evil thug’, those who do so should consider the feelings of his poor mother Sandra having to live not only with what her own son has done but in addition with the judgement of those who feel able to cast stones. I hope they don’t live in glass houses.

    The family of the dead man are, with every justification,very angry and devastated at the loss they have sustained, but we should remember that they are not the only victims of this crime. I pray that in time they will find it in their hearts to forgive the actions of these feckless young men, so that they might find some peace and reconciliation.

    And for us as a society, surely we have to offer some hope of redemption and rehabilitation for offenders, otherwise what hope is there for all of us who have made errors and live with the guilt of the offences we have committed in our lives?

  6. Steve

    3rd October, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Norman, what a wonderful explanation for everyone. Thank you. Sincerely.
    Most people don’t understand the reality of prison, or what a life sentence means.
    While I have no sympathy for Carroll and Keatley, I do feel the hate and the ranting is counter productive, and that some media does portray the story as “they’re being let off” and “it is soft in prison”, which isn’t true.

    These two will emerge from prison one day as broken men, pale, greasy, with not much of a future. I don’t for a minute feel bad about that .

    I do think the sentences should have been a bit longer, for public reassurance, but I wholeheartedly agree with the poster above. Well put.

  7. Steve

    3rd October, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    oh, and sorry, yes, I must also comment on my sympathy for Mr Eccle’s family and friends. I know that I’d have know him, this sentence wouldn’t help me much or bring closure.

  8. Andy JS

    3rd October, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Norman the Storeman: I completely disagree with your excuses for these murderers – and I consider myself a liberal! I’m not in favour of capital punishment for example. When hanging was abolished (which as I say I think was correct) people were promised that life would mean life. No wonder people don’t have much trust in politicians when assurances like that turn out to be meaningless. If you’d told people when CP was abolished that some people convicted of murder would be released after five and a half years they would have been astonished. Unfortunately this kind of thing gives a lot of ammunition to supporters of the death penalty because they can point out how people were lied to when they were told life would mean life for murderers once we got rid of hanging.

  9. Unconcerned Citizen

    4th October, 2009 at 11:34 am

    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/video/Murdered-Michael-Eccles-Family-This-Isnt-Justice/Video/200910115397989?lpos=video_Article_Related_Content_Region_1&lid=VIDEO_15397989_Murdered_Michael_Eccles_Family%3A_This_Isnt_Justice

    Whether we can agree on capital punishment or not – the justice and rehabilitation system is certainly flawed.

    A big flaw is down to sentencing – we all agree it is inconsistent and generally not harsh enough.
    The flaw in the system is that we the public do not seem to be directly inolved in the sentencing – even though it is the public jury that decides guilt.

    Carrol and keatlet are repeat offenders – even though there are flaws in justice and rehabilitation they shouldn’t be given any sympathy or benefit of the doubt – they have both had a few sympathetic chances to prove themselves and a decent family man who popped out to the shops is dead.

    There were lots of witnesses, there is no doubt of their guilt and they have both been let of lightly before.

    I’ll pull the trap door lever myself if nobody else has the guts to face up to our responsibility of keeping our streets safe.

  10. Norman the Storeman

    4th October, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Andy JS: I wasn’t aware I was making excuses for the awful actions of these individuals, I am simply stating that they have received life sentences. In that respect, life does actually mean life. Whether these life sentences are spent in prison or in the community is another matter. And I’m not sure that imprisonment for life was the assurance given by ‘politicians’ when capital punishment was abolished.

  11. Norman the Storeman

    4th October, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Andy JS: I am wrong. I have checked the legislation (cf Abolition of the Death Penalty Act 1965) which does cite life imprisonment. However it does go on to discuss tariffs and this is governed by the various Criminal Justice Acts which lay out how prisoners on licence are to be treated. For Carroll, the death penalty would not have been available due to his age.

  12. Jack

    9th November, 2009 at 7:01 am

    I was in Brinsford in the cell next to Carroll, he is not a bad lad at all .
    All this talk of capital punishment is stupid, 11 years is long enough for anyone, I spent 2 months inside and it was hell, Jordan looked after me though.
    Keatley is a liar, speaking with Jordan, Keatley did alot more than he puts out.
    Although I know Jordan and i know he’s not a bad person, what he did was wrong and he should be punished but all this talk of capital punishment is just stupid .

  13. Unconcerned Citizen

    9th November, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Jack –
    Thanks for shedding a bit more light on the situation.
    Most of Lichfield had been ‘hoodwinked’ into thinking Jordan and Carrol a pair of nasty psychopaths.

    However – in the light of what you have said – That Carrol “is not a bad lad at al” – i would like to apologise unreservedly my unfair treatment of him.

    If you are still on parole i suggest you don’t let your parole officer hear positive views of brutal murderers .

  14. Pingback: Lichfield MP critical of sentences handed out to killers of Michael Eccles

  15. A

    29th January, 2011 at 1:09 am

    I went to school with Jordan Carroll at The Friary (although I was in the other side of the year) and even back then he was an aggressive, disruptive person that everyone knew would eventually end up in prison.

    I am astounded that he is a murderer though. I guess you never think of anyone you knew to be capable of such a tragic act. I agree they of course need to be punished with a VERY long sentence but I don’t know if the death penalty would be appropriate for him (I can’t comment on the other killer) when he does get out I can imagine one of two things happening…
    He will realise what he has done, prison will have woken him up to the sheer magnitude of his crime and sentence and theres a chance he will become a productive citizen.
    Or prison won’t have fazed him enough to change him and he will continue to be the person NORMAL people can’t stand to be around because he just is so vile.
    In that case I have no doubt he would commit crimes again and he should be permanently removed from society.
    A