Laura Mitchell, her boyfriend Michael Hall, and two other men were convicted of murdering Andrew Ayres during a fight that flared up over a taxi outside a Bradford pub in January 2007.After the trial, the police described the group as ‘absolute animals’ who, fuelled by heavy drinking, had turned into a wild gang.The judge said he was sentencing Mitchell, Hall, now 28, both of Bottomley Street, Buttershaw, and Henry Ballantyne, then 20, on the basis that they were secondary parties to the death.Mitchell appealed against her murder conviction, saying she had played no part in the fatal attack on Mr Ayres, had not encouraged it and had no idea that he might be killed. Appeal Court judge Lord Justice Thomas said she had started the trouble that led to Mr Ayres’s death and the jury was entitled to find the murder was a joint enterprise.They were all told they would serve at least 13 and a half years.Judge Stephen Gullick said Mr Ayres’s death was caused by Carl Holmes, then 21, stamping on his face as he lay on the ground, leaving him unrecognisable.
A more vicious fight began, during which Ayres was murdered.
Unlike most young travellers, Monica didn't have to wait tables to save up for her once-in-a-lifetime trip.
In fact, she gets all her holidays for free by getting men she meets online to pay for them.
Press reports labelled Mitchell and her co-defendants drunken yobs who had mindlessly battered someone to death.
Mitchell was 22 at the time, a single mother with a five- year-old son.
Monica said: "I came across Miss Travel in an article about weird websites.
I thought, 'Yes, that sounds weird- but also kind of cool.'"This website attracts very successful men who don't have time to date in the normal way, so this allows them to accelerate the whole thing."They're going on trips anyway, and they can afford to search through profiles and afford to bring one they like with them."Initially I thought, 'Is this legitimate? ' But I signed up anyway, started chatting to a few guys, and really got into the idea."Without Miss Travel, it would have taken me 5-10 years of working to do all things I've done in this year alone."Before I found this site, I'd had never been outside the US and now my passport book is starting to get full – it's opened up the world to me." After deciding her life was lacking adventure, Monica quit her high-flying job at wealth management company Merill Lynch in December 2014.
The former financial advisor, who ditched the nine to five grind to see the world, estimates her lavish trip would have taken a decade of saving had she had to fund it herself.
Her adventure began in January, when she came across an article about dating site Miss Travel, where singles can pay to bring prospective partners on holiday with them.
The Court heard four defendants took part in a violent attack on Mr Ayres and two of his friends, following a row over a taxi.
The prosecution told the jury anyone who participated in a joint enterprise with someone who causes the death of another was also guilty.