'I wouldn’t want another family to suffer': Uncle of victim to double child killer speaks out on Colin Pitchfork release

3 July 2023, 19:22 | Updated: 4 July 2023, 00:45

Double child-killer Colin Pitchfork
Double child-killer Colin Pitchfork. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The uncle of one of Colin Pitchfork's victims has spoken out as the Parole Board has been asked to reconsider its decision to allow the double child killer to be released from prison.

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Phillip Musson, the uncle of victim Dawn Ashworth, 15, who was killed by Colin Pitchfork in 1986, told LBC his thoughts about the Parole Board's decision to release the killer.

He said: "They don't know that the protection of the public is safe-guarded against him when he's released, they just hope that it won't be the case, and so do I, because I wouldn't want another family to suffer as ours has."

Mr Musson went on: "You never really get over such a horrendous crime like this, the loss of a young life, she'd got everything to live for, it just reverberates down through the time and the generations."

It comes as Lord Chancellor Alex Chalk asked the Parole Board to reconsider its decision to allow double child killer Colin Pitchfork to be released from prison.

The Parole Board previously ruled that Pitchfork, who was jailed for life for raping and strangling 15-year-olds Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth in Leicestershire in 1983 and 1986, could be freed.

In its decision, the Parole Board said a panel "determined that it was no longer necessary for the protection of the public for Mr Pitchfork to remain confined and thereby directed his release".

Pitchfork was given a minimum term of 30 years in 1988, later had it reduced to 28 years for good behaviour and was released in September 2021.

He was back behind bars two months later for breaching the licence conditions of his release.

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Mr Chalk's intervention comes after Conservative MP for South Leicestershire Alberto Costa called for the parole decision to be challenged.

The Ministry of Justice had previously said it would look "very carefully" at the move, while a source there described it as "deeply worrying".

In a statement on Monday, Mr Chalk said: "My thoughts remain with the families of Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth, whose lives were changed forever by the heinous crimes of Colin Pitchfork.

"My number one priority is public protection and after careful assessment I have asked the Parole Board to reconsider their decision to release him.

"It is absolutely vital that every lawful step is taken to keep dangerous offenders behind bars."

The killer, who is now in his early 60s, was the first man to be convicted with DNA evidence.

He admitted two murders, two rapes, two indecent assaults and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

At the time, the judge said he doubted "if he should ever be released".

A spokesperson for the Parole Board said previously: "Protecting the public is our number one priority, however our sole focus in law is risk, not punishment, and must be based on evidence.

"This case is eligible for reconsideration if any party thinks the decision is irrational or unfair."

They have been approached for further comment.

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