Double child killer Colin Pitchfork to stay behind bars after Parole Board rules he cannot be freed

7 December 2023, 11:09 | Updated: 7 December 2023, 11:29

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

By Emma Soteriou

Double child killer Colin Pitchfork will stay behind bars after the Parole Board ruled that he could not be freed.

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Pitchfork was jailed for the murder and rape of 15-year-olds Dawn Ashworth and Lynda Mann in the 1980s.

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

The 63-year-old was released in 2021, before being arrested and sent back to prison two months later.

The Parole Board met in October and November to decide whether he could be released, with its decision summary published on Thursday.

It said he still posed a danger to the public and had not been open and honest when discussing what happened during his first release.

The report said it had been "reported that he had engaged in ‘aimless’ walking, spending time in forest and park areas, claiming to litter pick".

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

Read more: Double child killer Colin Pitchfork recommended for release by Parole Board

"After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody and on licence, and the evidence presented at the hearing, the panel was not satisfied that release at this point would be safe for the protection of the public," the board said.

"Nor did the panel recommend to the Secretary of State that Mr Pitchfork should be transferred to an open prison.

"In the panel's view, there remains a need for Mr Pitchfork to complete further work to address the identified risk factors in his case and it determined that this work should be undertaken in a closed prison.

"Mr Pitchfork will be eligible for another parole review in due course."

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