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Justice Secretary hopes Parole Board will 'swiftly' reconsider Colin Pitchfork release

28 June 2021, 10:04

Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

The Justice Secretary hopes the Parole Board will "swiftly" deal with his request that it reconsiders the release of child killer Colin Pitchfork from prison.

Robert Buckland told LBC that he asked the body to "reconsider the decision they've made" in relation to Mr Pitchfork, who was jailed for life in 1988 for raping and murdering two 15-year-old schoolgirls.

He said: "I've looked at this carefully, have taken the fullest advice and have decided in these circumstances to refer the matter back to the Parole Board for their reconsideration."

READ MORE: Government to challenge release of child murderer and rapist Colin Pitchfork

Asked how long the decision would take, he said it was "a matter for them" and that he could not influence the time it takes to reconsider the decision.

Mr Buckland continued: "I've acted within the 21-day period that I'm given in order to ask for reconsideration but it's now for the Parole Board themselves to consider all the issues.

"I can't speak for them as to how long they would take but I would hope that they will deal with it as swiftly and as fairly as possible."

Robert Buckland has asked the Parole Board to reconsider their decision to release Colin Pitchfork from prison
Robert Buckland has asked the Parole Board to reconsider their decision to release Colin Pitchfork from prison. Picture: PA Images

Earlier this month, the Parole Board said it was satisfied Pitchfork, who was found guilty of the murder of Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth in Leicestershire, was safe for release.

He added that a "root and branch" review of the Parole Board is also underway and the findings will be published later this year.

READ MORE: Caller condemns Parole Board for 'taking a chance' by releasing Colin Pitchfork

Asked if he wanted to reform the service, he said: "I'll make announcements in the next few months. I think they do some very sensitive and important work, it's difficult, but I think that the time is now right for further reform to be undertaken."