THREE men serving life for the brutal torture and murder of a family man failed to win cuts in the minimum terms they must spend behind bars.

Otis Lee Matthews, James Stuart Raven and John Godfrey Wilson were all ordered to serve at least 24 years before they could be considered for release on parole.

Matthews, aged 28, from Stretford, Manchester, was found guilty last year of murdering Brian Waters, aged 43, and conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm to Suleman Razak, aged 20, at Burnt House Farm, Tabley, near Knutsford, in June 2003.

Raven, aged 46, who had worked as an undercover researcher for the BBC and Channel 4 and was of Parnham Close, Radcliffe, Manchester, and Wilson, 56, of Marple Road, Chisworth, Stockport, were convicted of the murder at an earlier trial at Chester Crown Court in 2004.

London's Criminal Appeal Court on Tuesday refused to cut their minimum terms, rejecting claims they were too long.

Lymm man Christopher More remains on the run for his part in the murder.