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Daily Record
Daily Record
James Campbell & Peter Diamond

Killer who ‘dealt with man’s murder like a PlayStation game’ is released from jail

A killer involved in the horrific murder of Stephen Callaghan who was shot with an air rifle and smashed over the head with a cricket bat is back amongst the public.

Luke Anderson murdered Mr Callaghan, 37, with Daniel Sellers in Cottingham, on Boxing Day in 2006.

Anderson, who was 17 at the time, smashed a cricket bat over Mr Callaghan’s head at least ten times, while Sellers used an air rifle to repeatedly shoot him.

Luke Anderson was released from jail earlier this year according to the parole board. The 33-year-old's social media profile suggests he is currently residing in York, however, other reports say he is based in west Hull.

The pair tortured Mr Callaghan, who was described as “vulnerable and alone”, for his pin number before robbing him of his wallet, even though he had just 13p to his name, report Hull Live.

Mr Callaghan’s battered body was discovered by a dog walker on a public bridleway the following morning. He had more than 60 injuries, nine of which were gunshot wounds.

Anderson went to the High Court in 2016 to get his sentence cut but his bid failed. However, he has been released having spent the minimum time in prison set down by his sentence. Sellers, however, remains in prison and will not be eligible for parole until 2025.

A spokesperson for the Parole Board said: “We can confirm that a panel of the Parole Board has directed the release of Luke Anderson following an oral hearing in January 2022. Parole Board decisions are solely focused on what risk a prisoner could represent to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community.

“A panel will carefully examine a huge range of evidence, including details of the original crime, and any evidence of behaviour change, as well as explore the harm done and impact the crime has had on the victims.

“Members read and digest hundreds of pages of evidence and reports in the lead up to an oral hearing. Evidence from witnesses including probation officers, psychiatrists and psychologists, officials supervising the offender in prison as well as victim personal statements are then given at the hearing.

“The prisoner and witnesses are then questioned at length during the hearing which often lasts a full day or more. Parole reviews are undertaken thoroughly and with extreme care. Protecting the public is our number one priority.”

At the time of the murder, police said the pair murdered Mr Callaghan, of Elloughton Grove, north Hull, as though they were “playing a game”.

“They knew he had nothing and they still tortured him for his pin number. It was horrific,” Detective Superintendent Ray Higgins, who led the investigation, told the Hull Daily Mail after the pair were found guilty of murder at Hull Crown Court.

“Given the motive and the type of injuries, this has been for their own sadistic pleasure. The two shots delivered to his head were execution style. There is no doubt they intended these shots to finish him off.

“These are two young men who have shown no emotion and no regret for their actions. They dealt with it no more seriously than a PlayStation game.”

Anderson and Sellers were ordered to serve a minimum of 34 years between them when they were sentenced in 2007. Anderson was told he would have to spend at least 15 years behind bars while Sellers was sentenced to 19 years.

Anderson made a bid to have his sentence cut in 2016, claiming at London’s High Court that his minimum term should be cut because of his “exceptional progress” in prison and because his welfare may be “seriously prejudiced” by his continued imprisonment.

But Mr Justice Nicol said he needed to do more time and told Anderson he still posed a “high risk of serious harm to the public”.

“While his progress has been good, I cannot say that it has been exceptional,” he said. “Despite the progress that has been made, there is still more to be done.”

Mr Justice Nicol said Anderson had a “troubling” record in prison, with four adjudications against his name for disciplinary offences. “In all these circumstances I cannot recommend that his minimum term should be reduced,” he said.

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