Biggest jail terms handed down in Bristol in 2022

Court reporting forms an important part of the UK’s open justice system. It is a case of justice being seen to be done.

Some of the key benefits of open justice include ensuring public confidence and respect in democracy and the administration of justice. It also serves to deter people from committing crimes and thereby the details of those crimes becoming public knowledge.

Listed below are some of the criminals whose cases we have reported on this year who received the longest jail terms. You can read more about why we publish defendants’ names and addresses here.

READ MORE: Sex offenders jailed at Bristol Crown Court from January to September 2022

They were sentenced at Bristol Crown Court and two cases resulted in a life sentence. Ages and addresses were correct at the time of sentencing.

Steven Craig, life with a minimum of 34 years

Steven Craig, of Brailsford Crescent, York, has been handed a life sentence for murdering his partner. (Image: Avon and Somerset Police)

A man who was found guilty of murdering his former partner nearly 25 years after he attacked her was jailed for life.

Steven Craig, 58, of Brailsford Crescent, York, was originally convicted of causing grievous bodily harm to Jacqueline Kirk in 2000 after he poured petrol on her and set her alight two years earlier.

Jacqueline sustained 35 per cent burns in the incident and spent nine months in hospital – including three months in intensive care – before being discharged.

Craig was subsequently sentenced to life in prison for the attack before being released on licence in 2015 and then later recalled.

In August 2019, Jacqueline, known as Jackie, died aged 61.

A post-mortem examination recorded her cause of death as a ruptured diaphragm caused in part by burn injuries to her airway and torso.

Last month, a jury at Bristol Crown Court was asked to determine if the injuries she sustained at the hands of Craig directly led to her death and whether he was therefore guilty of murder.

They convicted Craig following a three-week trial and at the same court was given a mandatory life sentence with a minimum of 34 years behind bars.

Read the full story here

Abigail White, life with a minimum 18 years

Police handout image of Abigail White from Kingswood, who has been found guilty of murder
Police handout image of Abigail White from Kingswood, who has been found guilty of murder
(Image: Avon and Somerset Police)

Kingswood mum-of-three Abigail White was jailed for life after a jury convicted her of murdering her partner Bradley Lewis. White, 24, of Chipperfield Drive, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Bradley in March but pleaded not guilty to his murder.

After a two-week trial at Bristol Crown Court a jury of six women and four men convicted her of murder. Trial judge The Honourable Mr Justice Fraser jailed her for life with a minimum jail term of 18 years.

The judge sentenced White immediately. He told her: “My view is you did intend to kill.”

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Simon Mills, 15-year extended sentence

Simon Mills

A trespasser entered a woman’s home near Bristol and raped her. And he was handed a hefty jail term.

Simon Mills denied wrongdoing. But a jury at Bristol Crown Court convicted the homeless 37-year-old of rape and sexual assault by penetration.

Judge Julian Lambert handed him a 15-year extended sentence. That comprises of ten years’ custody and five years’ extended licence.

The judge told Mills: “The jury found you showed her no mercy and abused her sexually. They found no consent, and you knew there was no consent.

“There is an element of a predator about you and I find that very disturbing.

“You waited for her friend to be out of the way. You were cold, calculating, cruel and callous in what you did. I think you are dangerous.”

Read the full story here

James Wilson, seven years and four months

James Wilson

A drunken electrician crashed his car after a Christmas bash before trying to gouge out a police officer’s eyes. James Wilson lost control of his car in Downend on December 22 last year, Bristol Crown Court heard.

But when police arrived at the scene all hell broke loose, with Wilson attempted to gouge out one officer’s eyes and spitting at another. Wilson, 33, of Albert Road in Hanham, was found guilty of attempted grievous bodily harm after a trial.

He pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker, driving while unfit through drink, driving without insurance and failing to provide a specimen of breath. Judge Mark Horton jailed him for seven year and four months. He banned him from driving for three years and eight months.

The judge told him: “You were intending to gouge out the eyes of the officer in the case. You were applying as much pressure as you could to the victim’s eyes and he believed he may be about to lose his eyes.”

Read the full story here

Christopher White, 12 years

Christopher White

When a Hartcliffe man had more than £200,000 taken from him it brought him to the attention of police. And when they searched Christopher White’s home they found him with £651,000 worth of drugs, Bristol Crown Court heard.

As the search progressed police also found quantities of drugs cocaine and ketamine. White, 41, of Chelvey Close, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply the drugs and possessing criminal property.

Judge Euan Ambrose jailed him for 12 years. He told White: “Class A drug dealing causes enormous harm.”

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Collin Reeves, life with a minimum 38 years

Collin Reeves
Collin Reeves
(Image: Avon and Somerset Police)

Ex-soldier Collin Reeves was given a life sentence in prison at Bristol Crown Court (on Tuesday, June 21) for murdering his next-door neighbours in Norton Fitzwarren last November. The former commando was found guilty of murder by jury verdict on Friday, June 17, on the eighth day of his trial.

Reeves had previously admitted to manslaughter but claimed diminished responsibility in relation to his neighbours’ deaths. However, the jury voted unanimously to convict the 35-year-old of fatally attacking Jennifer and Stephen Chapple after a long-standing parking dispute.

He stabbed them each six times with a ceremonial Army dagger while their children slept upstairs.

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Gang of four, 40 years

Shane King, Ky-Shan Muir, Jonathan Markland and Ilyaas Skinner
(Image: Avon and Somerset Police)

Four men were jailed for a combined total of more than 40 years after an attempt to steal cash and drugs from a dealer ended in serious injury. Ky-Shan Muir, Jonathan Markland, Shane King and Ilyaas Skinner attempted to gain access to a property on Ivy Lane, Weston-super-Mare on January 31, 2021.

They appeared for sentencing at Bristol Crown Court on Friday, May 27 on multiple offences. The four defendants drove from London to Weston-super-Mare on the day in question to break into the home of Connor Browning, who had amassed more than £30,000 in cash, drugs and designer clothes.

Read the full story here

Paedophile gang, 32 years and six months

Clockwise from top left: Grant McGill, Brian Parker, Derek McBride and Tim Dale
Clockwise from top left: Grant McGill, Brian Parker, Derek McBride and Tim Dale
(Image: Avon and Somerset Police)

A group of men convicted of the historical sexual abuse of two young girls were jailed for a total of 32 years and six months. Three of the four denied wrongdoing and were convicted after a trial while a fourth admitted his guilt.

Bristol Crown Court heard the girls were subjected to intimate assaults in a location near Bristol, from when one was aged as young as seven. The court was told they were groomed and manipulated by offenders years older than them.

Tim Dale, 42, of Eleanor Close, Twerton, was found guilty of two indecent assaults on one girl. The court heard he was fit to stand trial but was intellectually impaired.

Grant McGill, 41, of Mill Road, Radstock, was found guilty of 35 charges on one girl. These comprised of 26 indecent assaults and nine indecency with a child charges.

Brian Parker, 48, of Benjamin Road in Wrexham, was found guilty of eight charges. These comprised of an indecent assault of one girl and seven indecency charges relating to the other. He admitted downloading 38 indecent images of children from the internet.

Derek McBride, 62, of River Street, Bath, pleaded guilty to four indecent assaults and one charge of gross indecency. The charges related to both girls.

Judge Mark Horton sentenced the men thus: McGill, 16 years, eight weeks; Parker, 12 years (nine years jail with three years’ extended licence); McBride, two years, six months; Dale, two years, suspended for two years.

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Mario DiMaggio, 14 years

Mario DiMaggio

A 47-year-old man was jailed for 14 years after being convicted of rape and sexual assaults following a trial at Bristol Crown Court. Mario DiMaggio, of Jacobs Wells Road, Bristol, was found guilty by a jury of two counts of rape and 12 counts of sexual assault, with all the offences committed against one woman in early 2019.

Trial judge William Hart called DiMaggio “predatory” in his behaviour, as he sentenced him to the prison term at a hearing earlier on March 14, as well as to a life-time restraining order. He will also be placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

Read the full story here

Romaine Hyman, 26 years

Romaine Hyman, from Bath
Romaine Hyman, from Bath
(Image: Avon and Somerset Police)

A man from Bath who organized the supply of at least £3million worth of cocaine to the South West and boasted to his contacts that his gun had “a silencer…the whole shebang” was jailed for 26 years. Romaine Hyman, 30, previously of Portland Place, Bath, was found guilty of 18 offences at Bristol Crown Court and was sentenced on February 18.

Hyman became a key target in a South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU) investigation following Operation Venetic, the UK law enforcement response to the takedown of encrypted messaging service EncroChat.

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Daniel Bishop, 14 years and eight months

Daniel Bishop

A “depraved” Emersons Green man drugged a woman so he and others could rape her. Daniel Bishop obtained the GHB “date rape” drug from a Dutch website, Bristol Crown Court was told.

After slipping it into her drink he forced himself on her while she was unconscious and broadcast the abuse via the internet. And he also arranged for other men to similarly abuse her, the court heard.

Bishop, 43, pleaded guilty to three rapes, three attempted rapes, a sexual assault and administering a noxious substance. Judge James Patrick, who categorised him as a dangerous offender, jailed him for 14 years and eight months with extended licence of eight years.

He told Bishop: “You fall to be sentenced for a set of depraved offences. What you did is, in my judgement, degrading and humiliating.” The judge ordered Bishop to register as a sex offender for life and barred him from working with children and vulnerable adults.

Read the full story here

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