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Child killer Colin Pitchfork 'should never be getting out' of jail, Justice Secretary tells LBC

14 February 2024, 08:45

The justice secretary says he is ‘troubled’ by Pitchfork’s latest bid for freedom
The justice secretary says he is ‘troubled’ by Pitchfork’s latest bid for freedom. Picture: Alamy
Natasha Clark

By Natasha Clark

Child killer Colin Pitchfork "should never be getting out" of jail, the Justice Secretary has told LBC.

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Alex Chalk also hinted that he would like to see his new Parole hearing in public.

The double killer will face yet another Parole Board hearing after he was able to argue that the last one didn't take into account all the evidence - including from a case manager who said he should be let out.

He was jailed for raping, and strangling two 15-year old girls, Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth, in the 1980s.

He eventually was freed after the Parole Board said he wasn't a risk anymore.

Read more: Men who kill partners after 'rough sex' will now face even longer in jail, Justice Secretary tells LBC

Read more: Teenage transgender girl stabbed 14 times in 'attempted murder' at rollerskating party, court told

Pitchfork was jailed for raping, and strangling two 15-year old girls
Pitchfork was jailed for raping, and strangling two 15-year old girls. Picture: Leicestershire Police

But he was recalled and rearrested after he was reported to have been sidling up to young women and expressing other concerning behaviour.

And he will now face yet another hearing, the Parole Board said this week - sparking outrage from the families of his victims.

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk said he was "really troubled" by his latest bid for freedom.

He told LBC he had urgently asked for a meeting with the Parole Board to discuss the case.

He said: "We take the view that Colin Pitchfork should never be getting out at all, which is why we are changing the law so that those who commit offences, murder in the course of sexual or sadistic conduct for one victim, the presumption is they should never come out, life should mean life, it should be a whole life order.

"We think this is a legacy from a former era where justice was not truly being served.

"I am thinking very much of the families and I intend meet with the parole board to discuss this truly appalling case.

"I am really troubled about this, I feel for the victims and families who are going from pillar to post, living with the uncertainty of finding out what is going to happen."

Mr Chalk also expressed interest in seeing the case be heard in public.

The law has already been changed so Parole Board meetings can be seen by more people.

But critics say it's not being used enough.

Mr Chalk told LBC: "I have some sympathy with those that say that... we haven't seen enough cases in public.

"My instinct is that we should be seeing more, I am keeping a very close eye on this issue to see if more need to take place to encourage the transparency which we see as a good thing.

"Broadly, sunlight is the best disinfectant and we think the Parole Board should be opening up more than it has done in the past."

It comes as the Government have announced today that those who engage in so-called 'rough sex' behaviour but go on to kill will face longer in jail.

Ministers will make it a specific aggravating factor that judges have to take into account when sentencing.

The law was already changed so 'rough sex' can't be used as a defence after killing someone.

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