News Clippings

Shotgun killer in appeal court bid

22 April 2002

PETER SHARP: Known as the King of the Teddy Boys in the Medway area in the 1950s

THE case of an obsessively jealous man who blasted his ex-lover and her new husband with a shotgun after a hate campaign is to be referred to the Court of Appeal – 10 years after he was convicted. Furniture dealer Peter Sharp was jailed for life in 1992 for murdering Joy Taylor as she sat in her car outside her home in Rochester. Sharp, now 69, who was dubbed King of the Teddy Boys in the 1950s, was also found guilty of the attempted murder of Leslie Taylor and jailed for 12 years. Sharp, who denied all the charges, was in addition found guilty of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life and sentenced to a concurrent six years. In November 1993, Sharp’s application for leave to appeal against conviction was refused by the Court of Appeal. In March 1998, he applied to the Criminal Cases Review Commission for a review of his conviction. Now the Commission is to refer the case to the Court of Appeal, claiming Sharp should have been convicted of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Commission spokesman David Brittin said the referral was in relation to Sharp’s conviction for murder and not on the attempted murder and firearm convictions. He said: “Legally we are prohibited from discussing exactly why a case is referred. In this case it is the question of whether it should have been manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Diminished responsibility can only be used on a murder conviction so the referral will not affect the other convictions in this case.” Mr Brittin said the appeal, likely to be heard in around six months, may not see Sharp walk free from jail as those found guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility are normally detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure. Sharp’s trial at Maidstone Crown Court heard how he waged a campaign of hate against Mrs Taylor after she ended their 10-year relationship and left him for another man. Sharp terrorised Mr and Mrs Taylor for months with death threats. Then, on November 25, 1991, he lay in wait for them outside their home in Hathaway Court, Rochester, the court heard. Mr and Mrs Taylor had been out for a meal and were returning to their home just after midnight when a car sped up behind them as Mr Taylor got out of the passenger seat to open the garage door. Sharp got out of the car, raised a sawn-off shotgun and fired at Mr Taylor. As he fell to the ground, Sharp reloaded and moved round to the driver’s side of the car where Joy was screaming hysterically and sounding the horn. He then shot her through the window at point-blank range and she died minutes later of severe head injuries. Mr Taylor escaped with only superficial injuries.

Last modified on June 28, 2015

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