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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Double child killer Colin Pitchfork recalled to prison two months after release

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Double child killer Colin Pitchfork has been arrested and recalled to prison, the Ministry of Justice said, after he was released just two months ago.

it is believed that Pitchfork was returned to custody on Friday after he is suspected to have breach his licence conditions.

His re-release will now be a matter for the Parole Board.

Pitchfork who is in his 60s was jailed for life after he raped and strangled 15-year-olds Lynda Mann & Dawn Ashworth in Leicestershire in 1993 and 1986.

He was sentenced to a minimum of 30-years behind bars but this was cut by two years in 2009, after this the child killer was moved to an open prison HMP Leyhill in Gloucestershire 3 years ago and then released in September 2021.

Pitchfork was not recalled for committing any further offences but for concerning behaviours identified by probation staff working with him.

He has been recalled as a preventative measure.

A Probation Service spokesperson said: “Protecting the public is our number one priority so when offenders breach the conditions of their release and potentially pose an increased risk, we don’t hesitate to return them to custody.”

Public out cry as Pitchfork released

Members of the public campaigned to keep the double child killer behind bars.

When he was released in September he was subjected to more than 40 licence conditions with a breach of any putting him at risk of being returned to prison.

At the time the Ministry Of Justice called these some of the strictest conditions ever imposed by a Parole Board.

Following the Parole Board sitting in March 2022 he was deemed suitable for release despite failing to be released in 2016 & 2018.

In June 2021 the government lodged a challenge to stop him being released as Justice Secretary Robert Buckland directly appealed to the independent board to re-examine the decision under the reconsideration mechanism.

The Parole Board rejected this and refused to re-consider their decision

Mr Buckland expressed his disappointment but said he respected the decision.

Typically there are seven standard conditions for offenders leaving prison but Pitchfork had to meet a further 36 requirements.

He is on the sex offenders’ register and had to live at a designated address, be supervised by probation, wear an electronic tag, take part in polygraph – lie detector – tests, and disclose what vehicles he uses and who he spoke to, while also facing particular limits on contact with children. He was subject to a curfew, had restrictions on using technology, and faced limitations on where he could go.

The government plans to overhaul the parole system, with the findings of a review expected later this year. It has also sought to change the law so child killers face life behind bars without parole.

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Trevor Sherwood
Trevor Sherwood
Trevor Sherwood is the editor and news reporter covering national and international news crime and policing news. Tweet your news and views to @TrevSherwoodPH

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