NOTORIOUS double child murderer, Colin Pitchfork, was sentenced to 30 years in 1988 for raping and killing two 15-year-old girls in Leicestershire.
However, it was confirmed in July 2021 that he will be released from prison despite a bid from the government.
Who is Colin Pitchfork?
Pitchfork, now 61, was the first person in the world to be arrested and convicted using DNA evidence.
He was jailed for life in 1988 for raping and murdering Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth, both 15, in Leicestershire.
After applying for parole in 2017, their killer was pictured preparing for life on the outside — and was even spotted shopping in Bristol on day release.
Kath Eastwood, the mother of one of his victims, Lynda Mann, said he should never be freed as he would always be a danger to the public.
Kath added: “He shouldn’t even be breathing and should, at least, be locked up forever.’’
Lynda’s father, Jonathan, is stricken with Parkinson’s disease and “luckily too ill” to grasp the situation.
In 2018, Pitchfork was denied parole and was told he will be eligible for further review within two years.
A hearing took place in March 2021 to consider whether he was suitable for release and on June 7, 2021, the decision that the Parole Board ruled Pitchfork was suitable for release, was published.
The decision was ratified on July 13, 2021.
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The killer will have 35 conditions attached to his release including electronic tagging, lie detector tests and he must provide details of any vehicle he owns.
He must not visit the area where his crimes were committed.
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."
Who were Colin Pitchfork's victims?
Lynda Mann took a shortcut on her way home from babysitting in Narborough on November 21, 1983 – when she didn't arrive at the house, her worried parents spent the evening looking for her.
The next morning, her body was found dumped on a local footpath.
She'd been raped and strangled to death.
Police had no leads or evidence in the crime until Dawn Ashworth's body was found in similar circumstances in July 1986.
Dawn had left a friend's house in Narborough and vanished on the short walk to her home in the neighbouring village of Enderby.
Her body, found in the corner of a field hidden under branches, showed signs of a terrible struggle before she was killed.
Shortly after her body was found, cops arrested Richard Buckland – a local 17-year-old with learning difficulties who knew Dawn.
However, DNA evidence proved Buckland was innocent and eventually led to Pitchfork's arrest.
What happened when Colin Pitchfork was on day release in 2017?
On November 13, 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.
What art has the killer exhibited?
The double-murderer exhibited a sculpture at the Royal Festival Hall in April 2009 — sparking public outrage.
He had created the design, titled Bringing Music To Life, from inside HMP Frankland, County Durham.
It was described as being made "in meticulous miniature detail by folding, cutting and tearing the score of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony".
Sick Pitchfork had written alongside the piece: "Without this opportunity to show our art, many of us would have no incentive, we would stay locked in ourselves as much as the walls that hold us.”
Distress from the family of his victims led to the work being removed from display.
When could Colin Pitchfork be released from prison?
Pitchfork pleaded guilty to the rape and murder of the two teens and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 30 years in 1988.
This was reduced on appeal to 28 years in 2009.
Prior to the confirmation of release in July 2021, 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.
Mr Costa said: "Colin Pitchfork’s heinous crimes quite understandably live long in the memory of many of my constituents and his case is still of considerable concern to residents in South Leicestershire.
“In light of his recent referral for a parole review, I was very pleased to meet with the chief executive of the Parole Board and to gain a better understanding of Pitchfork’s case in order to inform the next steps I will be taking on this matter.
"The safety and wellbeing of my constituents is, of course, paramount importance, so I want to ensure that the Parole Board are fully aware of Pitchfork’s crimes and his character before any decisions are made.”
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