A FATHER-of-four who murdered Jason ‘Jay Jay’ Taylor with a champagne flute has been refused leave to appeal his conviction.

But law lords have allowed Jack James Costello to challenge the minimum 19-year term imposed for the unprovoked fatal attack on the 23-year-old at the former Esco-Bar in Darwen in January 2018.

Jay Jay’s mother Vicky Taylor and his family and friends have been left facing further anguish as they await the outcome of Costello’s sentence appeal.

Ms Taylor said: “He appealed against his charge of murder and wanted it reduced to manslaughter. It got refused.

“I had a phone call telling me he is now trying to appeal to get his sentence reduced.

“He is a complete joke. He could get it reduced, it could stay the same or he could have more time added on.

“Hopefully he will get more time added on.

“We, his family, are all ourselves living a life sentence after he cowardly and brutally took away my son.

“Costello should be inside for life with no release."

Lord Justice James Dingemans, sitting with Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing and Judge Mark Wall QC, threw out the 46-year-old killer’s appeal against conviction.

Court officials have confirmed though he was granted leave to appeal against the length of his sentence, imposed by Recorder of Preston Judge Mark Brown QC, in August 2018.

Costello, formerly of Victoria Street, Rishton, is currently only eligible to apply for parole in August 2037.

He pleaded guilty at the start of his trial to manslaughter but always denied murder.

His Preston Crown Court trial heard how Jay Jay died in hospital following the brutal attack.

The victim had had words with Kayle Smith, nephew of the defendant’s former partner Sharon Kitchen, on the night in question.

Jurors heard Jay Jay had been talking to a friend of a friend, Zoe Broadhurst, at the bar before Smith leaned in and said: “Aren’t you too good to be talking to him?”

Jay Jay did not react to that comment, but the court heard 30-year-old Smith headbutted him.

Moments later Smith spoke with Costello, who approached the younger man and put his arm around his neck.

Costello first bit the ear of Jay Jay, for around six seconds, while those nearby attempted to intervene.

Then Costello thrust a glass champagne flute into his victim’s neck, severing his jugular vein, the court heard.

As Jay Jay collapsed, Costello threw the stem of the glass at him, prosecutors said, before he brawled with approaching door staff.

Jailing the killer, Judge Brown said: “This was undoubtedly unprovoked violence of the worst kind and it ended in the death of a relatively young and wholly innocent man who was doing no harm to anybody.”

Smith was later jailed for 16 months for assaulting Jay Jay.

Prior to the attack, Costello had jailed three previous times for arson, drug dealing and burglary.

Ms Taylor added: “Costello took away my son because of whatever Kayle Smith whispered in his ear.

"I still can’t believe it has happened.

“After all the serious crimes before this with Jay Jay why should he get his sentence reduced?

“His own son is only two years younger than Jay Jay and that’s why I say he has murdered a child.

“This is something we all as a family will never ever get over.

"The only remorse him and Smith’s family show is for themselves.”

The appeal is expected to be heard in around two months.