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Get Carter gangland murder appeal rejected

Michael Caine as Jack Carter in the film 'Get Carter',Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The killing of Angus Sibbet became known as the “one-armed bandit murder” and inspired the Michael Caine classic Get Carter

A bid to challenge a murder conviction that inspired the classic crime thriller Get Carter has been rejected by the High Court.

Michael Luvaglio, served 12 years in jail for the killing Angus Sibbet in a suspected gangland execution in 1967.

Luvaglio, who has always maintained his innocence, had asked for the decision not to re-hear the case in the Court of Appeal to be reviewed.

Mr Justice Langstaff said the bid had “no realistic prospect” of succeeding.

Luvaglio, who is now nearly 80 and living in west London, said: “I am innocent and don’t deserve to die as a legally convicted murderer.”

His lawyers argued fresh evidence pointing to the convictions being unsafe had been rejected irrationally or unreasonably by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Dennis Stafford (left) and Michael Luvaglio (right), have always maintained their innocence

Mr Sibbett was found dead in the back seat of his Jaguar under Pesspool Bridge, South Hetton, County Durham, with three gunshot wounds in January 1967.

Luvaglio and co-accused Dennis Stafford were both found guilty of shooting Mr Sibbett, who collected cash from fruit machines in Newcastle.

The case became known as the “one-armed bandit murder” and was the foundation for Ted Lewis’ novel Jack’s Return Home – later made into the 1971 Michael Caine classic Get Carter.

Since the murder several court appeals have been accompanied by books questioning Stafford and Luvaglio’s guilt.

The case has also been the subject of TV shows and questions asked in the Commons.

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