A SENIOR appeal judge has concluded that a colleague followed correct procedures when he ordered a gunman to serve at least 23 years for murdering a young dad.

Jordan Owens, 28, was ordered to serve the minimum term after being jailed for life for murdering Jamie Lee in Castlemilk, Glasgow, in July 2017.

Trial judge Lord Beckett passed the sentence after jurors at the High Court in Glasgow heard how Owens took Mr Lee’s life close to a children’s play park.

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Glasgow Times:

Jamie Lee

This prompted lawyers for Owens to go to the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh to argue that Lord Beckett didn’t follow procedures when deciding his minimum sentence.

Scotland’s most senior judge, Lord Carloway and his colleagues Lord Matthews and Lord Pentland heard that Lord Beckett should have considered Owen’s youth and immaturity before passing sentence.

The judges refused the appeal and in a written judgement issued by the court on Friday, Lord Matthews explained why he and his colleagues upheld Lord Beckett’s sentence.

Lord Matthews said that the brutal circumstances surrounding Mr Lee’s death meant that Lord Beckett was correct to impose a 23 year long punishment part.

Glasgow Times:

Lord Matthews wrote: “We disagree with the submission that the trial judge did not attach appropriate weight to the appellant’s age.

“These were minor factors in the judge’s overall assessment, which included the highly significant features of the appellant’s arming himself with a gun, obtaining a bullet proof vest and thereafter having the wherewithal, albeit assisted, to leave the country, and make his way ultimately to Portugal, sustaining himself in the meantime.

“The judge’s assessment that he was not a typical 23-year-old cannot realistically be challenged.

“The courts have repeatedly made it clear that the use of a firearm to commit murder is something which must be deterred and which will be visited by severe penalties.

“An analysis of the cases to which counsel referred leads inevitably to the conclusion that the trial judge selected a punishment part which is entirely in line with recent authority and with recent trends.”

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Times:

Owens, from Castlemilk, had armed himself with a gun and equipped himself with a bullet proof vest before the fatal confrontation.

He subsequently fled abroad as a fugitive but was tracked down in Portugal and returned to Scotland to face justice.

Passing sentence, Lord Beckett told Owens: "Jamie Lee lost his life in his early 20s. His family have had to suffer his loss and his child will grow up without his father."


Defence counsel Brian McConnachie QC told the appeal judges earlier this year: "It is entirely accepted, having regard to the nature of the conviction and the use of a firearm, that the punishment part to be imposed in this case would be at the higher end of the scale."

He said: "This was effectively a low level feud involving rival gangs in the Castlemilk area of Glasgow."

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But Mr McConnachie said that Owens was aged only 23 at the time of the commission of the offences and his age was a factor that impacted on his culpability over the crime.

He argued that it could be distinguished from shooting murders involving contract assassinations or serious, organised crime hits.

However, the appeal court rejected the submissions.