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Colin Pitchfork to face parole hearing

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Colin Pitchfork to face parole hearing

Pitchfork was jailed for life with a minimum term of 30 years in 1988

Double child rapist and murderer Colin Pitchfork will face a fresh parole hearing after successfully challenging a decision to keep him behind bars.

Pitchfork was jailed for life with a minimum term of 30 years in 1988, later reduced to 28 years, for raping and strangling 15-year-olds Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth in 1983 and 1986 respectively.

The Parole Board met last year to decide whether he could be released and ruled in December he should not be freed.

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 with a different panel of board members to decide if he can be freed from jail.

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.”

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