A triple murderer has launched the first challenge against a "whole life" sentence after an EU ruling which said a tariff forcing murderers to die in jail was “inhuman and degrading”, following an appeal by three killers.
These included Jeremy Bamber, who killed five members of his family in 1985.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Arthur Hutchinson, serving a “whole life” tariff for stabbing a wealthy couple and their son to death after breaking into their home in 1985, and then raping a woman, is to attempt to have his sentence declared a breach of his human rights.
Legal experts feared the initial challenge by Bamber and two other killers would lead to a deluge of similar claims, at great expense to the taxpayer, by all 49 killers and rapists serving whole life tariffs, as well as other murderers handed long sentences.
Jeremy Bamber, who murdered five of his family members, and two other killers were told their whole-life tariffs amounted to a breach of human rights.
The European Court of Human Rights said whole-life sentences were "inhuman and degrading".
ITV News deputy political editor Chris Ship reports:
Conservative MP Dominic Raab has branded the European Court of Human Rights ruling on life sentences as a "gross distortion of the European Convention".
April Jones' father Paul has told ITV News he feels a life sentence should mean life and today's ruling by the European Court of Human Rights is "gutting".
He says the ECHR shouldn't interfere with the British system of justice.
Mark Bridger was sentenced to a whole life tariff for April's murder on May 30, and under the new ruling would be eligible for review by 2048, when he would be 83 years old.
Simon McKay says his client Jeremy Bamber is no longer "consigned to the prospect of spending his whole life in jail" but today's ruling will not result in his immediate release.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has said he disagrees with the decision by the European Court of Human Rights that life terms handed to three UK murderers are in breach of their human rights.
A statement from Jeremy Bamber, who maintains his innocence to this day, has appeared on his blog, following today's European Court of Human Rights ruling.
It read: "I am the only person in the UK who was retrospectively given a life tariff on a majority verdict that maintains innocence.
"The verdict today seems in so many ways to be hollow, as I am still serving a prison sentence for a crime I did not commit.
"My whole life order has now been given a system of reviews, but there is no provision for someone who is wrongly convicted to prove that they are worthy of release, such hope is in reality, no hope at all.
"Reviews and parole hearings are subject to a risk assessment to gauge dangerousness and this is influenced by the inmate's confession, remorse and rehabilitation for reintegration back into the community. In my case I do not fit the criteria for parole on this basis.
"The justice system, despite the investment in the Criminal Cases Review Commission, still refuses to accept that there are prisoners who are innocent of the crimes they have been convicted of and this comes into conflict with sentence reviews.
"While there are some people who have been released at the end of their sentence and still maintained innocence, such as Eddie Gilfoyle and Susan May, it is unlikely I would ever be released without my conviction being overturned...Simply because of the high profile nature of my case.
"As is always, the law does not apply if it assists me in anyway."
Douglas Vinter's lawyer Simon Creighton has said the European Court of Human Rights' ruling could not be used as a "get out of jail free" excuse for life-term prisoners.
Mr Creighton said the court is telling the Government to return to what it was doing 10 years ago. He said there were "very careful" safeguards in place which must be passed before prisoners can even be considered for release.
"It's now for the Government to respond," Mr Creighton said.
"My client will look forward to their response with interest."