Colin Pitchfork 'tried to approach young women in the street and cheat lie detector tests'

22 November 2021, 17:51 | Updated: 22 November 2021, 17:55

Colin Pitchfork was released from jail just two months ago
Colin Pitchfork was released from jail just two months ago. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Double child killer Colin Pitchfork was sent back behind bars after approaching young women in the street.

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There were also concerns Pitchfork, who was jailed for life after he raped and strangled two 15-year-old girls in the 1980s, was trying to cheat lie detector tests.

He is understood to have approached young women several times while he took walks from the bail hostel, where he was living after being let out of jail.

It is thought he was trying to establish a connection with them.

Pitchfork, who is now in his 60s, was arrested and recalled to prison just two months after he was controversially released.

He was jailed for life after killing Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth in Leicestershire in 1983 and 1986.

His 30 year minimum term was cut by two years in 2009, then he was moved to an open prison three years ago.

A parole board decision led to him getting let out from jail, despite Government opposition, in September but he was subjected to strict conditions.

Read more: Double child killer Colin Pitchfork sent back to prison two months after release

However, officials believed he showed a "bad attitude" and was not as engaging and open with them as they wanted.

It was also suggested that he may have tried to affect results of a polygraph test – which he needed to do as part of his release requirements – through breathing techniques, but was spotted by staff.

Dawn Ashworth's mother, Barbara, told the Daily Mail: "It is worrying that he is approaching young women in this manner. It just goes to show that a leopard never changes its spots."

Read more: 'So upsetting': Victim's mother speaks out against Colin Pitchfork prison release

Read more: Tory MP brands Colin Pitchfork release 'deeply regrettable'

The Parole Board had refused to let him out in 2016 and 2018 but in March it deemed him "suitable for release".

It said it "heavily" relies on evidence from professional witnesses who monitor and work with offenders.

Probation officers and a prison psychologist "all supported his release", it was said, while then-justice secretary Robert Buckland was represented at the hearing and "did not oppose release".

However, he asked for a review following public anger at Pitchfork being let out, though the Parole Board rejected this.

There were fears among professionals Pitchfork worked with that he had capacity to "manipulate and deceive".

He had tried to get his hands on a smartphone, given a female shop worker chocolates and lied to her when he had been out on temporary licence.

His case now has to be referred to the Parole Board within 28 days.

A hearing is likely – though these cases are usually done by reviewing documents – and that is likely to take place within six months. It will determine if he should stay in a closed prison, an open prison or get released again.

The Government has aimed to change the law so child killers face life behind bars.