Shaun Woodburn's dad pleads with parole board to reject early release of son's killer

Kevin Woodburn asked the Parole Board for Scotland to insist that  Mohammed Ibnomer serve out his full four-year sentence

Wednesday, 1st January 2020, 1:13 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st January 2020, 3:32 pm
Kevin Woodburn asked the Parole Board for Scotland to insist that Mohammed Ibnomer (right) serve out his full four-year sentence for killing his son Shaun (left).

The father of Shaun Woodburn has made a written plea for his son’s street thug killer to be kept behind bars and refused early release from prison.

Kevin Woodburn asked the Parole Board for Scotland to insist that Mohammed Ibnomer serve out his full four-year sentence for killing his son Shaun.

Ibnomer could have been released last January but that was refused and he now faces a hearing next Tuesday that could see him back on Edinburgh’s streets six months early.

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Father-of-one Shaun, 30, died after being felled by Ibnomer, then 16, outside Gladstones pub in Leith in the early hours of January 1, 2017.

In November 2017, Ibnomer was given a four-sentence after he was convicted of Shaun’s culpable homicide. If he had been convicted of murder, Ibnomer would be serving a life sentence.

Kevin Woodburn, an Edinburgh private hire taxi driver, wrote the letter in an attempt to keep Ibnomer in prison for his full sentence, fearing he has no remorse over Shaun’s death.

Mr Woodburn wrote: "I watched the arrogance, ignorance and immaturity he showed throughout the trial. I watched his complete lack of remorse and, indeed, his complete lack of emotion as evidence was detailed in the court.

"I saw no evidence of any admission as to the severity of the crime he had been charged with, let alone any admission as to guilt.

"In fact, as he continued to plead not guilty throughout the entire trial, I can only ascertain that right up until his conviction for culpable homicide, Mohammed Ibnomer could not or would not accept that he was responsible for my son's death.

"This, in effect, was further punishment to myself and my family and Shaun's friends. It meant that we had to endure a full trial with all of the gruesome evidence read out and CCTV footage shown in court for approximately 18 days until the jury found him guilty."

Mr Woodburn added that if Ibnomer was truly remorseful, he would have made contact with his victim’s family to express his sorrow.

His letter continues:: "I have no doubt that you will hear today how remorseful Ibnomer has been, and how much of a model prisoner he has been and how he mentors young prisoners.

"I have one question for you: if Ibnomer is so remorseful, then why in the time he has spent in prison has he not reached out to my family even once to say how sorry he is for taking Shaun's life? "At no point has he attempted to do so. He could have easily written to myself or other family members to express his remorse - HE HAS NOT.

"If he is indeed remorseful then why has he not shown that in any way, shape or form since his conviction? Not in court at trial, not at sentencing and certainly not since being in prison.

"He is not and never has been truly remorseful as he has never once apologised to myself or any other member of my family for killing Shaun.

"I am sure you must agree that is not the sign of a remorseful individual. He pleaded innocence, blamed others, claimed self-defence. He lied all the way throughout the entire process since January 1, 2017. Why would you believe his remorse is now anything other than to get himself out of prison earlier .

He added: "I watched Ibnomer act his way through a murder trial and I am quite sure he has been capable of acting his way through prison - in taking the right courses, in saying the right things. But believe me, it is all an act. He will act exactly how he thinks you want him to if it gets him out of serving his full sentence, as paltry as the sentence was anyway.

"I am asking you not to believe this act but to stand strong in the face of it all and realise that if there is to be any justice at all in all of this, it should be that Ibnomer has to remain in prison for his full sentence of four years and that you DO NOT grant him parole today or allow him to become eligible for home detention curfew.

"I know the day will come soon enough when the system will decide he has served his time and that is, unfortunately, based around the ridiculous sentence passed by Lady Stacy.

"However, early parole is well within your remit and if the basis of that decision relies upon Ibnomer's remorse, then you have no alternative but to refuse his parole, as his remorse has been non-existent.

"I hope that you do the right and just thing and give us, Shaun's family, some modicum of justice but, more importantly, give Shaun's five-year-old daughter some justice for the loss of her daddy."

Following Shaun’s death, his family have campaigned for justice system reform and have won changes to protocols surrounding multiple post mortems on victims of crime.