Ringleader of teenage gang that kicked Garry Newlove to death could be moved to open jail

Adam Swellings (left) was the ringleader of a gang who kicked Garry Newlove (right) to death. Credit: Cheshire Police

The ringleader of teenage gang that kicked a father-of-three to death should be moved to an open prison, according to the Parole Board.

Adam Swellings, from Crewe, was the leader of a group of drunken boys who viciously attacked Garry Newlove outside his home in Warrington in 2007.

Mr Newlove was kicked “like a football” after he confronted Swellings, Stephen Sorton and Jordan Cuncliffe about vandalism.

The 19-year-old was handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 17 years, while Sorton, then 17, was jailed for at least 15 years and Cunliffe, then 16, was jailed for a minimum of 12 years.

From left: Stephen Sorton, Jordan Cuncliffe and Adam Swelling - the gang who killed Garry Newlove. Credit: Cheshire Police

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab must now decide whether to approve or block the decision to move Swellings to a lower security jail, ahead of becoming eligible for parole in two years’ time.

The Parole Board said: “After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody and the other evidence presented at the hearing and in the dossier, the panel recommended that Mr Swellings should be transferred to open prison.“This followed a careful assessment of the benefits and risks of progressing him in this way.“It is now for the Secretary of State to decide whether he accepts the Parole Board’s recommendation.”

According to a document detailing the Parole Board decision, at the time of his crimes Swellings covered his “low self-esteem” with “arrogance in order to maintain status with anti-social friends”.

Garry Newlove was attacked by the teenage gang outside of his home in Warrington. Credit: PA images

It said he drank, smoked cannabis and “had difficulties dealing with extremes of emotion, including feelings of anger which were expressed in the form of extreme aggression”.There have been “no concerns about his behaviour throughout his time in custody”, the decision document said, he has “maintained a trusted position of work over many years” and his conduct has been “regarded as exemplary”.He has taken part in rehabilitation programmes to address his behaviour and carried out training on “victim awareness”.Swellings is now 33-years-old and has appeared for the first time in front of the Parole Board.

He will not be eligible for release until August 2024 after the minimum term of his sentence elapses.

The decision follows a ruling in November 2020 that fellow gang member Cunliffe could also be released from prison, after the Parole Board dismissed a bid to keep him behind bars.