Parole board comes under fire as 63-year-old, who raped and murdered two 15-year-old girls, receives further chance for freedom
Colin Pitchfork, the double child killer, has been granted an appeal to be considered for release, sparking disapproval of the parole board’s “flawed” handling of his case.
Alex Chalk, the Justice Secretary, is seeking an urgent meeting with the parole board over its “deeply concerning” decision to grant Pitchfork’s appeal to reconsider his case.
The 63-year-old lost his latest bid for freedom in December but, having contested the decision will now face a fresh parole hearing which could see him released from jail.
The mother of one of his victims said “words fail me now” as she heard the news. At the same time, an MP who has campaigned to keep Pitchfork behind bars warned the Parole Board was “demonstrating its utter inability to appropriately deal with this dangerous man”.
Pitchfork was jailed for life in 1988 after raping and strangling two 15-year-olds, Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth, in Leicestershire in 1983 and 1986.
He was given a minimum term of 30 years, later reduced to 28 years because of progress he had made in prison, and was released in September 2021.
But Pitchfork was back behind bars two months later after he breached his licence conditions when he approached a lone woman while litterpicking.
In June 2023 the parole board found the decision to recall him to prison was flawed and said his detention was no longer necessary for public safety. But this ruling was blocked by Mr Chalk – who is also the Lord Chancellor – as he called for the decision to release Pitchfork to be reviewed.
The board reviewed the decision and decided Mr Chalk was right. But this was appealed by Pitchfork, resulting in a fresh hearing.
‘I’d throw away the key’
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