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Double child rapist and murderer ‘must not be released from prison’

Colin Pitchfork was jailed for life in 1988 following his conviction for raping and strangling two 15-year-old girls
Colin Pitchfork was jailed for life in 1988 following his conviction for raping and strangling two 15-year-old girls

Double child rapist and killer Colin Pitchfork must remain in prison after his parole application was turned down.

Pitchfork was jailed for life in 1988 following his conviction for raping and strangling two 15-year-old girls, Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth, in Leicestershire.

He was released in 2021, but recalled to prison two months later after breaching the terms of his licence by approaching a lone woman.

Last month he applied to the Parole Board for a second release but was rejected, with officials saying they were not satisfied he no longer posed a risk to the public.

In the judgment, the Parole Board said: “After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody and on licence, and the evidence presented at the hearing, the panel was not satisfied that release at this point would be safe for the protection of the public.”

The judgment went on to say that at the time of his crimes, Pitchfork had “a negative attitude towards women, difficulties in managing extreme emotions and [saw] enjoyment [in] causing fear in women”.

Lynda Mann was 15 when she was murdered by Pitchfork in 1983
Lynda Mann was 15 when she was murdered by Pitchfork in 1983 - LYNDA MANN DEATH/RAYMONDS PRESS

It continued: “He had a need to be in control, held deviant fantasies and wanted to punish women. Mr Pitchfork was preoccupied with sexual thoughts, felt entitled to have sex as and when he wanted to and found enjoyment in sexual violence.

“He made poor decisions in his life, had difficulties in his relationships and was socially isolated, finding it difficult to solve life’s problems.

More East Mids stories - click above
More East Mids stories - click above

“The panel was concerned that there was an absence of current information about Mr Pitchfork’s attitude towards sex, his thinking and his beliefs.

“Having explored this at the hearing, the panel could not be wholly satisfied whether the behaviours that caused Mr Pitchfork to offend were no longer present.”

Pitchfork strangled 15-year-old Dawn Ashworth to death in 1986
Pitchfork strangled 15-year-old Dawn Ashworth to death in 1986 - TOPHAM/PA

Alberto Costa, the MP for South Leicestershire, who has campaigned for Pitchfork to remain behind bars, welcomed the decision and said the killer has “no place in the community”.

“This is welcome news for my constituents and the families of Dawn and Lynda whose suffering will ultimately always outweigh Pitchfork’s punishment.

“Since I was first elected in 2015, I have been working with my team to see that Pitchfork remains in prison because I have no interest in gambling on the safety of women and girls in South Leicestershire so a convicted murderer and rapist can live in the community.

“A man capable of committing such horrific crimes, now only in his early 60s, has no place in the community where he remains a clear risk and I will continue to make that case.

“Under today’s laws, Colin Pitchfork’s crimes would likely see him spend his entire natural life in prison and today’s decision is another step closer to that reality,’ Mr Costa said in a statement.