Colin Pitchfork: Child murderer to be released this week after rejected appeal - reports

1 September 2021, 07:23 | Updated: 1 September 2021, 08:15

Colin Pitchfork will reportedly be released this week.
Colin Pitchfork will reportedly be released this week. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Child murderer Colin Pitchfork is set to be released this week following the rejection of a government appeal, according to reports.

The double child killer and rapist, now 61, will live in a probation hostel once he is released from Leyhill prison in Gloucestershire, it has emerged.

Despite his freedom, Pitchfork will be subject to several licence conditions which, if he breaks, will mean he is recalled to prison.

The conditions include: wearing an electronic tag, completing lie detector tests and being placed on the sex offenders register.

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Speaking about Pitchfork's release, Safeguarding Minister Victoria Atkins told LBC: "There will be very, very strong routines - including the police - put in place around any person with that background and with those convictions leaving prison.

"It's absolutely critical that anyone with those sorts of convictions is monitored very, very carefully and closely.

"Of course, if they break rules, then measures can be taken by police and others to bring them back in, but that will be monitored very carefully."

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It comes after the Parole Board rejected the government's appeal against the decision, which had been the result of concerns over the risk he could still pose to society.

MPs shared their disappointment in the board's decision, with Tory MP for South Leicestershire Alberto Costa telling LBC's Nick Ferrari that it was "deeply regrettable that this individual is being given freedom".

A spokesperson for the board previously said in a statement: "The Parole Board has immense sympathy for the families of Dawn Ashworth and Lynda Mann and recognises the pain and anguish they have endured and continue to endure through the parole process.

"However, Parole Board panels are bound by law to assess whether a prisoner is safe to release. It has no power to alter the original sentence set down by the courts.

"Legislation dictates that a panel's decision must be solely focused on what risk a prisoner may pose on release and whether that risk can be managed in the community.

"As made clear in the reconsideration decision, release was supported by all of the Secretary of State's witnesses during Mr Pitchfork's review."

Pitchfork was jailed for life after raping and strangling Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth - both 15 - in Leicestershire in 1983 and 1986.

He was the first man to be convicted of murder on the basis of DNA evidence in 1988, having admitted two murders, two rapes, two indecent assaults and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.