One of three men convicted of killing a convicted rapist has succeeded in the first stage of his Appeal Court bid to clear his name.
Peter Leonard, 53, of Trinity Street, Oswaldtwistle, was convicted of murdering Alan Street, 26, of Lime Avenue, Oswaldtwistle, at Preston Crown Court on October 16 last year.
He was jailed for life with a 28-year minimum term to serve. One co-defendant was also jailed for murder while another was jailed for manslaughter.
Mr Street, who had served a prison term for rape, was struck with weapons, punched and kicked in an attack at a house in Padiham, on December 20 2008, London’s Criminal Appeal Court heard.
There was also an element of torture, and his body, weighed down by bricks ‘so no-one would find it', was discovered a month later at a culvert in Woodnook, Accrington.
Leonard, who always denied responsibility for the slaying, was granted permission to appeal against his conviction by Lord Justice Moses, Mr Justice Maddison and Judge Anthony Scott-Gall.
Lawyers for Leonard argued he had been unfairly convicted because inadmissible evidence had been put before the jury at his trial.
This may have tended to prejudice the panel against him and ought to have led to the jury being discharged, it was claimed. Lord Justice Moses, granting permission to appeal, said: "The full court ought to consider whether this is one of those rare cases where the judge ought to have discharged the jury. We shall give permission (to appeal)."
However he warned the family of Leonard not to raise their hopes too high. The full appeal will now be heard by three top judges at a later date, yet to be set.