Image caption Stefan Pakeerah was murdered in 2004

The family of a murdered teenager has launched an appeal contesting the decision to release his killer.

Warren Leblanc was jailed for a minimum of 13 years in 2004 for the murder of Stefan Pakeerah at a park in Leicester.

His application for parole was heard last month and it was ruled Leblanc is now suitable to be released from prison on licence.

Stefan's family said they are "incredibly disappointed" with the decision.

In February 2004 Leblanc, of Braunstone Frith, Leicester, persuaded Stefan to go to nearby Stoke Woods Park - known locally as The Dumps - to meet some girls.

Leblanc armed himself with a knife and claw hammer to carry out the attack.

  • Latest news and stories from the East Midlands

Jess Peck, Stefan's stepsister, confirmed the family's appeal, adding they have been told they will find out the outcome by 4 March.

"We're just incredibly disappointed, it's a very surreal feeling," she said.

The Parole Board has issued a decision summary, seen by the family and the BBC, which discussed Leblanc's case.

Image caption Warren Leblanc was given a minimum term of 13 years

It said the panel "carefully considered" the circumstances of the offence, including Leblanc's "unhelpful attitudes" around violence and his immaturity at the time.

It said Leblanc had completed programmes to address "his offending behaviour", and was found to have made "sufficient progress" in changing his attitudes and behaviour.

Leblanc was moved to an open prison in December 2018.

Since then, he spent time in the community during periods of temporary release and found a job, with no concerns about his conduct raised.

Ms Peck said: "Reading the Parole Board's reasoning, I did think I'd be really angry but actually I was just really upset. I think the anger comes later.

"It's a very hard pill to swallow that he now gets to go on and re-do life and Stefan's never going to get that opportunity."

Image caption Stefan's stepsister Jess Peck said the family is "incredibly disappointed" with the Parole Board's decision

A spokesperson for the Parole Board said: "Decisions are solely focused on whether a prisoner would represent a significant risk to the public after release.

"The panel will have carefully looked at a whole range of evidence, including details of the original evidence and any evidence of behaviour change."

Follow BBC East Midlands on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Send your story ideas to [email protected].