Despite protests and several attempts to keep him behind bars, convicted child rapist and murderer Colin Pitchfork was released from a UK prison on Wednesday after serving 33 years.
Pitchfork was given a life sentence in 1988 with a minimum of 30 years after raping and strangling two 15-year-old girls, Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth, in Leicestershire in 1983 and 1986 respectively.
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The mother of one of the victims said “life should have meant life”.
South Leicestershire MP, Alberto Costa, who has been campaigning against Pitchfork’s release, said he was “appalled” by the Parole Board’s “immoral, wrong and frankly dangerous” decision.
RT reports: The Ministry of Justice issued a statement extending its “heartfelt sympathies” to the families of Pitchfork’s victims, Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth, and assured the public that Pitchfork would be monitored under strict conditions.
“Public safety is our top priority, which is why he is subject to some of the strictest licence conditions ever set and will remain under supervision for the rest of his life,” a Ministry of Justice spokesperson explained, adding that if Pitchfork ever “breaches these conditions, he faces an immediate return to prison.”
The mother of victim Dawn Ashworth warned in June that though Pitchfork “can’t hurt me any more than he has already by killing my daughter,” there will always be “other 15-year-old girls in the streets” that could potentially fall victim.
“If he was released, he could search for any victim he wanted to. He is a psychopath who should be kept in prison where he belongs,” she declared.
Pitchfork was previously afforded a taste of freedom in 2017, when he was allowed to roam the streets of Bristol unaccompanied on day release. Photos of Pitchfork visiting several shops, buying a sandwich, and eating on a bench as members of the public completely unaware of the murderer’s identity walked by horrified Brits and made headlines.
Brits on social media called Pitchfork’s release “absolute sickening” and “a scary decision.”
Pointing out that “1 in 5 murders are committed on parole,” Louise Perry – a New Statesman columnist and campaigner against sexual violence – wrote, “If Colin Pitchfork rapes and kills another child, the individuals responsible for this decision should be held accountable.”
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