Double child killer Colin Pitchfork who raped and strangled two teenager girls to death has been granted another bid for freedom after successfully challenging the Parole Board.
The 63-year-old monster was jailed for life with a minimum term of 30 years in 1988 for the killings of Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth in 1983 and 1986 respectively. This sentence was later reduced to 28 years.
Last year the Parole Board discussed whether the murderer could be released but in December ruled he should remain behind bars.
But Pitchfork applied for the decision to be reconsidered and this has been granted, the Parole Board said on Monday.
It means he will face another parole hearing to decide if he can be freed from jail.
Mugshot of Colin Pitchfork, the first murderer convicted and jailed using DNA evidence
Dawn Ashworth, 15, was raped and murdered by Pitchfork in 1988 in Leicestershire
Lynda Mann was also one of Pitchfork’s victims, also being killed and raped in 1988
Pitchfork’s first application for parole was rejected after it emerged that he had been loitering in forests and parks, even approaching lone women during his spell of freedom.
He had been released under ultra-strict licence conditions in June 2021 before being recalled to prison just three months later in September that year.
In a statement released this afternoon the Parole Board said that Pitchfork had been eligible to appeal the decision on the grounds the decision had ‘been irrational, procedurally unfair and/or there had been an error of law’.
Pitchfork made an application for reconsideration in December 2023 and this was granted by a member of the Parole Board today.
Convicted child killer Pitchfork is seen walking in a local park near young families after his release in 2021
Lynda Mann (pictured) who was raped and murdered by Pitchfork in 1983 when she was just 15
Pitchfork raped and murdered Dawn Ashworth (pictured) three years after his first attack
In a statement, the Parole Board said: ‘The decision refusing Mr Pitchfork’s release was eligible for reconsideration under the Parole Board Rules.
‘This meant that the panel’s decision was provisional and that either Mr Pitchfork or the Secretary of State could make an application for reconsideration on the grounds that the decision not to release Mr Pitchfork had been irrational, procedurally unfair and/or there had been an error of law.
‘Mr Pitchfork made an application for reconsideration in December 2023 and this was considered and granted by a reconsideration member of the Parole Board in February 2024.’
Pitchfork’s challenge was successful because the parole panel ‘had a duty to take the prison offender manager’s recommendation into account and to give adequate reasons for any disagreement with that recommendation’ but the review concluded this had not happened.
The ‘complete re-hearing’ will take place in due course, the Parole Board said, adding: ‘Release can only be directed by the Parole Board if the new panel is satisfied that it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that Mr Pitchfork remain confined in prison.
‘Mr Pitchfork has, and will continue to, remain in prison until this case has fully concluded.’
This is a breaking news story. More follows.