Double child killer Colin Pitchfork to get fresh parole hearing after successful challenge

12 February 2024, 15:13

Colin Pitchfork (main)  Dawn Ashworth (top right) and Lynda Mann (bottom right)
Colin Pitchfork (main) Dawn Ashworth (top right) and Lynda Mann (bottom right). Picture: Leicestershire police

By StephenRigley

Double child killer Colin Pitchfork who raped and murdered two teenager girls to death has been granted another bid for freedom after successfully challenging the decision to keep him in jail.

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Pitchfork was jailed for life with a minimum term of 30 years in 1988 for the killings of Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth in 1983 and 1986 respectively. This sentence was later reduced to 28 years.

Pitchfork was the first man convicted in the UK using DNA evidence.

He had been released under ultra-strict licence conditions in June 2021 before being recalled to prison just three months later in September that year.

Colin Pitchfork
Colin Pitchfork. Picture: Leicestershire Police

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Last year the Parole Board discussed whether he could be released but in December it was decided he was too much of a risk and must stay in prison.

In a statement, the Parole Board said: “The decision refusing Mr Pitchfork’s release was eligible for reconsideration under the Parole Board Rules.

“This meant that the panel’s decision was provisional and that either Mr Pitchfork or the Secretary of the State could make an application for reconsideration on the grounds that the decision not to release Mr Pitchfork had been irrational, procedurally unfair and/or there had been an error of law.

“Mr Pitchfork made an application for reconsideration in December 2023 and this was considered and granted by a reconsideration member of the Parole Board in February 2024.”

It added: "Release can only be directed by the Parole Board if the new panel is satisfied that it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that Mr Pitchfork remain confined in prison.

"Mr Pitchfork has, and will continue to, remain in prison until this case has fully concluded."

Pitchfork was the first man convicted in the UK using DNA evidence.

He had been released under ultra-strict licence conditions in June 2021 before being recalled to prison just three months later in September that year.

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