Child killer Colin Pitchfork could be released a second time after prison recall

Pitchfork was found guilty of raping and murdering teens Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth in Leicestershire back in the 1980s, and after being briefly released in September, was quickly put back behind bars

Mugshot of Colin Pitchfork, the first murderer convicted and jailed using DNA evidence

Double child killer Colin Pitchfork could be released a second time after being recalled to prison.

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

However last September he was freed from prison in a highly controversial move by the Parole Board, Leicestershire Live reported .

Pitchfork was quickly put back behind bars following concerns about his behaviour, especially towards women.

But it’s now been confirmed the 62-year-old’s next hearing has been set for the autumn, which could lead to him walking free once more.

His previous release last year sparked anger among Lynda and Dawn’s families.

Schoolgirl Lynda Mann, aged 15, who was found raped and strangled in Leicestershire in 1983



Concerns were raised by politicians as then Justice Secretary Robert Buckland called on the Parole Board to change his mind.

They did not and within weeks of his release, Pitchfork was arrested and returned to prison after breaching his release conditions.

That was a contributing factor that led to Mr Buckland’s successor Dominic Raab saying that reforms to the parole system were needed.

South Leicestershire MP Alberto Costa is among those to have campaigned to keep Pitchfork behind bars indefinitely.

In a meeting with the Chief Executive of the Parole Board for England and Wales, Martin Jones, he said Pitchfork remained a threat to society.

He said: “I have long held very serious concerns about the threat to public safety still posed by Pitchfork, and as ever, I will continue doing all I can to oppose his release.

“Given Pitchfork’s recall to prison after only a matter of weeks following his release on license last November, it is quite clear that he still presents a very real risk to my constituents and the general public.”

Dawn Ashworth, who was murdered by Colin Pitchfork in July 1986



At present, it is believed Pitchfork is in a closed prison, where he is likely to remain there until the parole hearing in the autumn.

Since Pitchfork’s re-arrest, the Government has said it intends to give Ministers the power to block dangerous criminals – such as Pitchfork and London taxi cab rapist John Worboys – since ever being released.

This was something local MP Mr Costa said was a step in the right direction.

“I have been greatly encouraged by the Government’s announcements to reform our country’s parole process, and I remain in close contact with both the Justice Secretary and the Minister for Policing in helping to shape this new system for the benefit of victims, their families and my constituents who still have serious concerns about individuals such as Pitchfork,” he said.

Responding to the original Parole Board decision to release him in September last year, Lynda’s sister Rebecca Eastwood told Leicestershire Live: “I don’t have any confidence at all in the justice system if they are prepared to let someone like him out.

“It comes down to the justice system looking at someone who has done the things this man has done and thinking ‘he’s done his time, let’s give him a chance and let him out’. They can’t give a 100 per cent guarantee he Even if it’s only a small chance that he will commit more crimes, it’s not a risk worth taking.

Artist’s file impression of Colin Pitchfork, 48, appealing the length of his sentence at the Court of Appeal in London last year



“They say that they have looked into every single nook and cranny to make sure it’s the right decision and that they’ve looked into the risk he would pose. They say he has made progress and admitted the attitudes he had towards women then and that these have been addressed now.

“I understand why he has been a ‘model citizen’ while he has been going through this process – he has no other choice and he wants to be released. He’s a very clever man.”

Reacting to his arrest just two months later, she said: “In my view it shows we were right to be worried. It seems they feel he has been hiding something or acting suspiciously in this time he’s been given.

“But in a way it’s a relief because it does show that they are watching him closely. That’s what they told us they were going to do all along. If they felt he needed to be recalled to prison then they might have saved someone’s life, we just don’t know.”

According to background documents released by the Parole Board at the time of its release, Pitchfork was subject to a long list of restrictions on his conduct and movements.

He was told he would have to live at a certain address, take part in probation supervision, wear an electronic tag, take part in polygraph ‘lie detector’ tests and to disclose what vehicles he was using.

There are also conditions relating to any contact he might have with children.

Crucially, he was told he was not allowed to go anywhere near Leicestershire or to any area where members of the girls’ families live.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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