Colin Pitchfork release LIVE – Justice Secretary urged to intervene over the release of double child rapist and killer

THE Justice Secretary has been urged to intervene after a Parole Board approved the release of the notorious double child killer Colin Pitchfork.

Tory MP Alberto Costa said he had asked Justice Secretary Robert Buckland to intervene in the case.

It comes after the Justice Secretary was granted the power to ask the Parole Board to reconsider their decisions if they were thought to be "irrational" or"procedurally unfair".

A source close to the Justice Secretary told the Telegraph that the Government would take legal advice to explore whether the use of the new late would be appropriate.

Pitchfork was jailed for life after brutally strangling 15-year-old girls Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth to death in Leicestershire in 1983 and 1986 respectively.

A hearing took place in March this year to consider if he was suitable for release – and the decision to set him free after 33 years was published today.

Pitchfork, then in his 20s, became the first man convicted of murder on the basis of DNA evidence and was jailed for life at Leicester Crown Court in 1988, with a minimum sentence of 30 years to be served.

He was eventually caught after the world's first mass screening for DNA, as 5,000 men in three villages were asked to volunteer blood or saliva samples.

Pitchfork will be released with 35 conditions, including the use of probation supervision, the wearing of an electronic tag and multiple lie detector tests.

Read our Colin Pitchfork live blog for the latest news & updates…

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    JUSTICE SECRETARY URGED TO INTERVENE OVER PITCHFORK'S RELEASE

    The Justice Secretary has been urged to intervene after a Parole Board approved the release of the notorious double child killer Colin Pitchfork.

    Tory MP Alberto Costa said he had asked Justice Secretary Robert Buckland to intervene in the case.

    It comes after the Justice Secretary was granted the power to ask the Parole Board to reconsider their decisions if they were thought to be "irrational" or"procedurally unfair".

    A source close to the Justice Secretary told the Telegraph that the Government would take legal advice to explore whether the use of the new late would be appropriate.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    WHAT HAPPENED TO DAWN ASHWORTH AND LYNDA MANN?

    The two girls were pounced upon by Colin Pitchfork, a baker and convicted sex offender who was in his 20s when he murdered them. 

    Both girls were raped and strangled.

    Given the similarities of the attack and location, police linked them.

    Yet there were not enough leads or evidence to connect anybody to the murder and the case was not immediately solved. 

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    HOW PITCHFORK WAS THE FIRST MURDERER TO BE SNARED BY DNA

    When the body of 15-year-old Dawn Ashworth was found in a Leicestershire field, cops immediately knew they were dealing with a serial killer.

    Another schoolgirl of the same age, Lynda Mann, had been raped and strangled to death with her own scarf three years earlier close to where Dawn's body was found – now the girls' killer can go free.

    Colin Pitchfork, 61, was in 1988 sentenced to life in prison for his horrific crimes – he was the first murderer to be convicted using DNA evidence.

    Now the Parole Board has ruled he can be released, believing he is no longer a danger to the public after he was turned down for release on two previous occasions.

    More on the story here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    GOVERNMENT WILL SEEK LEGAL ADVICE – REPORTS

    It is understood the Government will seek legal advice over the decision.

  • Joseph Gamp

    RELEASE OF PITCHFORK STILL NEEDS APPROVAL FROM JUSTICE SECRETARY

    The decision is provisional for 21 days,

    Pitchfork’s release is subject to the approval of the Justice Secretary who has the power to appeal against the decision.

  • Joseph Gamp

    EXPLAINED: HOW WAS COLIN PITCHFORK CAUGHT?

    Colin Pitchfork was arrested and jailed in 1988 for the murders.

    It was a revolutionary case because he was the first criminal to be trapped by DNA profiling.

    He was one of the thousands of local men who gave blood samples that were compared with material found on the girls’ bodies.

    The profiling technology had first been pioneered by Sir Alec Jeffreys at the University of Leicester and since Pitchfork’s conviction, changed how police investigations in the future were carried out.

  • Joseph Gamp

    WHEN WERE THE SCHOOLGIRLS MURDERED?

    On November 23, 1983, 15-year-old Lynda Mann took a shortcut on her way home from babysitting. 

    But she did not return home and her parents and neighbours spent the night searching for her. The next morning, she was found dead.

    She had been raped and strangled on a deserted footpath known locally as the Black Pad. Then, three years later, on July 31 1986, a second 15-year-old girl, Dawn Ashworth, vanished after leaving her home to visit a friend's house. 

    Two days later, her dead body was found in a wooded area near a footpath called Ten Pound Lane. 

    She had been savagely beaten, brutally raped and strangled. The semen samples also revealed the same blood type.

  • Joseph Gamp

    COLIN PITCHFORK MUGSHOT FROM THE 1980s

    Colin Pitchfork was caged for life in 1988 for the rape and murder of teenage schoolgirls Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth in Leicestershire

  • Joseph Gamp

    COLIN PITCHFORK CAN BE RELEASED FROM PRISON SAYS PAROLE BOARD

    A DOUBLE child killer who raped and murdered two 15-year-old girls can be released, the Parole Board has ruled.

    Sex-obsessed Colin Pitchfork was caged for life in 1988 for the rape and murder of teenage schoolgirls Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth in Leicestershire.

    Read more here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    MINISTRY OF JUSTICE STATEMENT ON COLIN PITCHFORK FROM 2017

    A Ministry of Justice source said: “Colin Pitchfork has been released on temporary licence towards the end of his sentence. He still has strict conditions to adhere to and he has not been permanently freed from jail.

    “He has been entitled to day settlement and now has night settlement this month with the premise that he had to disclose where he will be staying.

    “It is nearing the end of his tariff and he is gradually being reinstated into society. “

  • Joseph Gamp

    WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT COLIN PITCHFORK's CRIMES (CONTINUED…)

    • He pleaded guilty to both murders in September 1987 and was sentenced to life in January 1988.
    • The judge said the killings were "particularly sadistic" and he doubted Pitchfork, who he described as “a danger to young women”, g would ever be released.
    • In 2009, his minimum 30-year life tariff was reduced by two years for "exceptional progress" – a decision that was strongly criticised by his victims’ families.
    • The Court of Appeal heard Pitchfork had achieved a “high standard of education to degree level” and had never been placed “on report” while in custody.
    • The prisoner had also become a specialist in transcribing printed music into Braille to assist the blind – work which was used across the UK and internationally.

    COLIN PITCHFORK: WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT HIS HEINOUS CRIMES

    • Pitchfork was convicted on DNA fingerprinting evidence and the first to be caught as a result of mass screening. He was 22 at the time of his first murder in November 1983.
    •  He left his baby son sleeping in the back of his car and raped and strangled 15-year-old Lynda Mann with her own scarf on a secluded footpath in Narborough, Leics. He then returned to his home in nearby Littlethorpe to put his child to bed.
    • Nearly three years later in July 1986 and less than a mile from where Lynda died the he raped and murdered Dawn Ashworth, also 15, in Enderby.
    • A police investigation initially led to the wrong suspect Richard Buckland, a 17-year-old local,  who falsely confessed to one of the killings.
    • After an unprecedented mass screening of 5,000 men across three villages using pioneering "DNA profiling" technology, Pitchfork was finally caught. He had earlier evaded justice by persuading a colleague to take the test for him.

    'MODEL PRISONER' COLIN PITCHFORK WAS ALLOWED TO SPEND NIGHTS AWAY FROM JAIL IN 2017

    ONE of Britain’s most evil child killers has been freed to spend nights away from jail for the first time in 30 years.

    Double murderer Colin Pitchfork, who has been lapping up days out on temporary licence, has now won the right to unsupervised overnight stays in the community.

    As he prepares for his new life he is being allowed “night settlement, “ a Ministry of Justice spokesperson confirmed.

    Pitchfork, 58 – the first person ever to be snared by DNA evidence – has already been freed to roam the streets during un-monitored days our to  look for a job and home.

    GOVERNMENT WILL SEEK LEGAL ADVICE – REPORTS

    It is understood the Government will seek legal advice over the decision.

    COLIN PITCHFORK RELEASE STILLS NEEDS APPROVAL FROM JUSTICE SECRETARY

    The decision is provisional for 21 days,

    Pitchfork's release is subject to the approval of the Justice Secretary who has the power to appeal against the decision.

    • Joseph Gamp

      EXPLAINED: HOW WAS COLIN PITCHFORK CAUGHT?

      Colin Pitchfork was arrested and jailed in 1988 for the murders.

      It was a revolutionary case because he was the first criminal to be trapped by DNA profiling.

      He was one of the thousands of local men who gave blood samples that were compared with material found on the girls' bodies.

      The profiling technology had first been pioneered by Sir Alec Jeffreys at the University of Leicester and since Pitchfork's conviction, changed how police investigations in the future were carried out.

    • Joseph Gamp

      WATCH: DOUBLE CHILD KILLER COLIN PITCHFORK BECOMES FIRST MURDERER TO BE CONVICTED USING DNA EVIDENCE

      Double child killer Colin Pitchfork becomes first murderer to be convicted using DNA evidence

    • Joseph Gamp

      WHEN WILL COLIN PITCHFORK BE RELEASED FROM PRISON?

      Pitchfork had pleaded guilty to the rape and murder of the two teens and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 30 years.

      This was reduced on appeal to 28 years in 2009.

      Local MP Alberto Costa said he had met the chief executive of the Parole Board for England and Wales Martin Jones to discuss the case.

      Following the meeting, Mr Costa announced he would write to the Secretary of State for Justice, Robert Buckland MP, to ensure both he and the Parole Board were aware of local concerns about the case.

    • Joseph Gamp

      EXPLAINED: WHEN WERE THE TWO SCHOOLGIRLS MURDERED BY COLIN PITCHFORK?

      On November 23, 1983, 15-year-old Lynda Mann took a shortcut on her way home from babysitting. 

      But she did not return home and her parents and neighbours spent the night searching for her. The next morning, she was found dead.

      She had been raped and strangled on a deserted footpath known locally as the Black Pad. 

      Then, three years later, on July 31 1986, a second 15-year-old girl, Dawn Ashworth, vanished after leaving her home to visit a friend’s house. 

      Two days later, her dead body was found in a wooded area near a footpath called Ten Pound Lane.  She had been savagely beaten, brutally raped and strangled. The semen samples also revealed the same blood type.

    • Joseph Gamp

      WHAT HAPPENED TO DAWN ASHWORTH AND LYNDA MANN?

      The two girls were pounced upon by Colin Pitchfork, a baker and convicted sex offender who was in his 20s when he murdered them. 

      Given the similarities of the attack and location, police linked them.

      Yet there were not enough leads or enough evidence to connect anybody to the murder and the case was not immediately solved.

    • Joseph Gamp

      WHAT DID THE PAROLE BOARD SAY ABOUT COLIN PITCHFORK’S RELEASE?

      A document detailing the Parole Board decision said: “After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody and the evidence presented at the hearing, the panel was satisfied that Mr Pitchfork was suitable for release.”

    • Joseph Gamp

      PITCHFORK 'USED £26,500 OF TAXPAYERS CASH' IN LEGAL BATTLES

      Colin Pitchfork used £26,500 of taxpayers' cash in legal battles.

      Documents show six occasions between 2012 and 2019 when legal aid payments, totalling £12,715, were made for his parole bids.

      A further 13 payments totalling £5,011 were for "freestanding advice and assistance" since 2002. And Pitchfork got £8,778 to bring reviews against the Home Office and Ministry of Justice.

      He killed Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth, both 15, in Leicestershire, becoming the first person convicted of murder based on DNA evidence.

      The Legal Aid Agency said: "Legal aid is available to prisoners who are appearing before the Parole Board, subject to a strict means test."

    • Joseph Gamp

      COLIN PITCHFORK WAS LET OUT ON DAY RELEASE IN 2017

      On 13 November 2017, we reported how Pitchfork was allowed out to roam Bristol city centre alone for six hours.

      He was seen eating a pulled pork sandwich and giggled as he pored over Great British Bake Off books.

      Pitchfork, who has changed his name to Thorpe, also went to a job centre and visited three banks.

      He was returned by staff to HMP Leyhill, an open prison in Gloucestershire.

    • Joseph Gamp

      ALBERTO COSTA ACCUSES PAROLE BOARD OF 'PLAYING POLITICS' OVER COLIN PITCHFORK RELEASE

      He accused the Parole Board of "playing politics" and said he would be lobbying the Justice Secretary.

      "The Parole Board has received criticism before in the past – let's not forget only three years ago the John Worboys fiasco that the Parole Board went through when they tried to release that repugnant individual," Mr Costa said.

      "The Parole Board back then had the opportunity of hearing Pitchfork but because of representations that I made to the then secretary of state for justice, they acted politically as a Parole Board and chose to delay listening to having a hearing for Colin Pitchfork, so the Parole Board aren't short of playing politics in this as well."

    • Joseph Gamp

      PAROLE BOARD STATEMENT OVER POTENTIAL COLIN PITCHFORK PRISON RELEASE

      The decision is provisional for 21 days, subject to the approval of the Justice Secretary who has the power to appeal against the decision.

      It is understood the Government will seek legal advice over the decision.

      A Parole Board spokesman said: "Parole Board decisions are solely focused on what risk a prisoner could represent to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community.

      "Parole reviews are undertaken thoroughly and with extreme care. Protecting the public is our number one priority."

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