Jeremy Bamber has lost the first stage of his latest legal move over his convictions for murdering five relatives more than 25 years ago.
A High Court judge in London has rejected his application for permission for a judicial review of a decision not to refer his case back to the Court of Appeal for the safety of his convictions to be looked at again.
The decision not to refer his case was made earlier this year by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), an independent body which investigates possible miscarriages of justice.
A spokeswoman for the Judicial Office confirmed that a single judge, considering the case on the papers, had turned down Bamber's judicial review application.
It is still open to Bamber to seek to renew his application before the full court.
Bamber, who is serving a whole life term for the 1985 killings, has always protested his innocence and claims his schizophrenic sister Sheila Caffell shot her family before turning the gun on herself in a remote Essex farmhouse.
When announcing its decision in April the CCRC said that despite a lengthy and complex investigation, it "has not identified any evidence or legal argument that it considers capable of raising a real possibility that the Court of Appeal would quash the convictions".