TWO convicted killers, jailed for a horrific double murder at a Risca taxi office, will remain behind bars until 2019 and 2015.

Michael Attwooll, 64, and John Roden, 42, both from Risca, yesterday failed in their court challenge against their minimum jail terms.

Both were convicted of the murder of taxi firm boss, Gerard Stevens, and his girlfriend, Christine Rees, at Newport Crown Court in June 1995.

They were both jailed for life. Attwooll was ordered to spend at least 25 years behind bars, and Roden at least 21 years.

Both challenged those minimum jail "tarrifs", a year after the Court of Appeal declared their convictions "safe" following a referral by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Just after midnight, on May 6 1994, the victims were both shot in the head at the taxi firm offices in Risca, and subjected to a horrific attack with a machete.

At the High Court, lawyers for both men argued that the tariffs were too long, and that then Home Secretary, Michael Howard, had erred in imposing longer minimum terms than those recommended by the trial judge.

But Mr Justice Flaux said that neither man could have complaint with the tariffs.

He added that the Crown had argued that, had the pair been convicted and sentenced today, under tougher sentencing guidelines, they would have received "whole life" tariffs or, at the very least, minimum terms with a 30-year starting point.

Describing the murders as "sadistic and pre-meditated", the judge said that Roden's only motive was the "warped desire" to see if he could kill someone.

The Crown's case was that Attwooll was jealous of the relationship Mr Stevens was having with Miss Rees, and was worried that his business partner was cheating him and he might be ousted from the business.

Attwooll, who was Mr Stevens' partner in the taxi firm, was convicted after the jury heard evidence from his brother-in-law, Vincent Price, that he had sold Attwooll an illegal firearm before the killing, an air rifle converted to fire lethal .22 bullets.

Roden, the boyfriend of Attwooll's daughter, Vicki, was found guilty after the jury heard evidence from an acquaintance, Carl Perkins, that he had thrown a gun into the river at Roden's behest.

The rusting remains of a gun were later recovered from the river and prosecutors claimed that they, the weapon earlier sold to Attwooll by gun enthusiast, Mr Price, and the murder weapon, were one and the same.

Yesterday's ruling means they can apply for parole in, respectively, 2019 and 2015.

If and when they can convince the Parole Board they are no longer a danger to the public, they will be released on a life licence.