Colin Pitchfork: Double child killer's parole hearing to be held in public in July

Notorious child killer Colin Pitchfork's next parole hearing will be held in public.

The Parole Board said it had approved an application for an open hearing in July in the "interests of justice".

Such hearings are normally private but can be held in public in some circumstances after a change in the law.

"I have carefully considered Mr Pitchfork's representations and I have concluded that the interests of justice outweigh the points raised on Mr Pitchfork's behalf," said Caroline Corby, chair of the Parole Board.

Pitchfork was jailed for 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 Leicestershire.

He was the first man convicted on DNA evidence after a lengthy investigation that involved 5,000 men in three villages giving samples.

At the time he committed his first crime, he was a 22-year-old, married father-of-two. He is now in his 60s.

Pitchfork was initially freed from an open prison in September 2021 but recalled after two months for approaching young women in the street.

In December, the Parole Board said it was still too risky to free him. However, earlier this year, Pitchfork successfully applied for the decision to be reconsidered.

Pitchfork has also been convicted of sexually assaulting two more girls and admitted exposing himself to more than 1,000 girls and women.

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Dawn Ashworth's mother, Barbara, previously told Sky News: "It's diabolical. He's obviously going to have an urge, we just don't know what's in his mind.

"I don't think there's any way he should be walking the streets. He can't hurt me anymore but could cause disruption.

"He's able to make the Parole Board believe whatever he wants to say."