Child killer Colin Pitchfork could be released a second time after being released from prison

Pitchfork was found guilty of the rape and murder of teenagers Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth in Leicestershire in the 1980s and was quickly put back behind bars after his brief release in September

Mugshot of Colin Pitchfork, the first killer to be convicted and imprisoned based on DNA evidence
Mugshot of Colin Pitchfork, the first killer to be convicted and imprisoned based on DNA evidence

Two-time child killer Colin Pitchfork could be freed a second time after being sentenced to prison.

Pitchfork was sentenced to life in prison for the rape and murder of 15-year-old Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth in Leicestershire in the 1980s.

However, he was released from prison last September in a highly controversial move by the parole board. Leicestershire Live reports .

Pitchfork was quickly put back behind bars after concerns about his behavior, particularly towards women.

But it has now been confirmed that the 62-year-old’s next hearing has been set for the autumn, which could see him walk free again.

His latest release last year sparked anger from Lynda and Dawn’s families.

15-year-old schoolgirl Lynda Mann was found raped and strangled in Leicestershire in 1983


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Politicians raised concerns when then-Attorney General Robert Buckland urged the parole board to change its mind.

They did not, and within weeks of his release, Pitchfork was arrested and returned to prison after violating his terms of release.

It was a factor that contributed to Mr Buckland’s successor, Dominic Raab, saying reforms to the parole system were needed.

South Leicestershire MP Alberto Costa is among those who have campaigned to keep Pitchfork behind bars indefinitely.

In a meeting with Parole Board chief executive for England and Wales, Martin Jones, he said Pitchfork remains a threat to society.

He said: “I have long had a deep concern about the threat to public safety that Pitchfork continues to pose and will, as always, do everything I can to oppose his release.

“Given Pitchfork’s recall to prison just weeks after his release last November, it’s pretty clear he still poses a very real risk to my constituents and the public at large.”

Dawn Ashworth, who was murdered by Colin Pitchfork in July 1986


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Pitchfork is currently understood to be in a closed prison, where he is expected to remain until his parole hearing in the fall.

Since Pitchfork’s re-arrest, the government has announced it will give ministers the power to stop dangerous criminals – like Pitchfork and London taxi rapist John Worboys – from ever being released.

This is something that the local MP, Mr Costa, said was a step in the right direction.

“I have been very encouraged by the Government’s announcements of reforms to our country’s probation system and I remain in close contact with both the Minister for Justice and the Minister for Police to help implement this new system for the benefit of victims, their families and their families to shape voters who still have serious concerns about people like Pitchfork,” he said.

In response to the parole board’s initial decision to release him in September last year, Lynda’s sister Rebecca Eastwood told LeicestershireLive: “I have absolutely no faith in the justice system when they are willing to let someone like him out.

“What matters is that the justice system looks at someone who has done the things that man has done and thinks, ‘He’s done his time, let’s give him a chance and let him out’. You can’t give him a 100 percent guarantee he won’t offend him. Even if there’s only a small chance he’ll commit more crimes, it’s not a risk worth taking.

File impression by the artist of Colin Pitchfork, 48, who appealed the length of his sentence to the Court of Appeal in London last year



“They say they examined every nook and cranny to make sure it was the right decision and looked at the risk it would pose. They say he’s made progress and admitted the attitudes he had towards women at the time, and these have now been addressed.

“I understand why he was a ‘model citizen’ while going through this process – he has no choice and wants to be released. He is a very smart man.”

Responding to his arrest just two months later, she said: “I think it shows that we were right to be concerned. It seems that they feel that he has been hiding something or acting suspiciously during this time he has been given.

“But in a way it’s a relief because it shows they’re watching him closely. That’s what they told us all along that they would do it. If they felt he needed to be called back to prison, they might have saved someone’s life, we just don’t know.”

According to background documents released by the parole board at the time of his release, Pitchfork was subject to a long list of restrictions on his behavior and movements.

He was told he must live at a specific address, attend parole supervision, wear an electronic tag, take polygraph lie detector tests, and disclose what vehicles he used.

There are also conditions regarding any contact he might have with children.

Crucially, he was told not to go anywhere near Leicestershire or any area where members of the girls’ families live.

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