A drug dealer who murdered a man he belived had been sleeping with his partner has had a minimum jail term reduced by appeal judges.

Last year Oliver Muldowney, 37, was found guilty of murdering Tim Hipperson, 39, in Richmond and was given a mandatory life sentence.

Judge Shani Barnes ruled in September 2022 that Muldowney, of Richmond, should serve at least 29 years in jail before being considered for parole.

However, three appeal judges have now concluded that the minimum sentence was “manifestly excessive” and reduced it to 26 years.

Muldowney, a jury heard, was a prominent street drug dealer in Richmond who Mr Hipperson had wanted to buy drugs from.

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.

Muldowney is said to have stabbed Mr Hipperson to death in an alley with a combat knife in May 2021.

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.