Drug dealer convicted of knife murder in alley has minimum jail term reduced


drug dealer convicted of murdering a man in an alley with a combat knife has had a minimum jail term reduced by appeal judges.

Oliver Muldowney, 37, had last year been found guilty of murdering Tim Hipperson, 39, in Richmond, south-west London, in May 2021 and given a mandatory life sentence.

Judge Shani Barnes, who oversaw a trial at the Old Bailey, had ruled in September 2022 that Muldowney, of Richmond, should serve at least 29 years in jail before being considered for parole.

Three appeal judges on Thursday concluded that a 29-year minimum was “manifestly excessive” and reduced it to 26 years.

Lord Justice Popplewell, Mr Justice Lavender and Mr Justice Bryan had considered an appeal by Muldowney, who, trial jurors had heard, was a prominent street drug dealer in Richmond, at a Court of Appeal hearing in the Royal Courts of Justice complex in London.

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Mr Hipperson had wanted to buy drugs, jurors heard.

Prosecutors argued that Muldowney believed Mr Hipperson had been sleeping with his partner and had been armed with a large combat knife when they met, appeal judges heard.

Muldowney had denied murder.

He said he had “no problem” with Mr Hipperson, said Mr Hipperson had a “small kitchen knife” in his hand and had wanted money, and said Mr Hipperson, who died three days after being stabbed, had been injured in a struggle.

Lord Justice Popplewell said jurors had been asked to decide whether Mr Hipperson had been stabbed deliberately, accidentally or in self-defence.

Muldowney had also been found guilty of perverting the course of justice – by trying to interfere with a police investigation – and had admitted dealing in crack cocaine and heroin.


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