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Justice Secretary 'profoundly disagrees' with ruling

Under current UK law, whole-life tariff prisoners like Welsh killer Peter Moore will almost certainly never be released from prison as their offences are deemed so serious.

They can be freed only at the discretion of the Justice Secretary on compassionate grounds.

Today the European Court of Human Rights ruled that removing the chance of release for even the most dangerous offenders is a breach of human rights.

The Strasbourg-based court said whole-lifers should be entitled to a review of their sentence 25 years into their term at the latest.

The British people will find this ruling intensely frustrating and hard to understand.

What the Court is saying is that a judge can no longer tell the most appalling criminals that they will never be released.

I think the people who wrote the original Human Rights Convention would be turning in their graves at this ruling. I profoundly disagree with the Court and this simply reinforces my determination to curtail the role of the Court of Human Rights in the UK.

– Justice Secretary Chris Grayling

The panel of 17 judges said the court 'did not intend to give the applicants any prospect of imminent release'.


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April Jones' father: A life sentence should mean life

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.

April Jones' parents Paul and Coral Jones. Credit: Press Association

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.

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Court rules killers' life terms in breach of human rights

Whole-life jail sentences given to murderers Jeremy Bamber, Douglas Vinter and Peter Moore are a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled.

But the court said the ruling was not intended to give the applicants any prospect of imminent release.

Jeremy Bamber was jailed for life for the murder of five members of his family. Credit: Press Association.

The three men claim condemning them to spend the rest of their lives behind bars is against their human rights.

Bamber, 51, has been behind bars for more than 25 years for shooting his wealthy adopted parents June and Neville, his sister Sheila Caffell and her six-year-old twin sons Daniel and Nicholas at their farmhouse in Tolleshunt D'Arcy, Essex.

He was given a whole-life tariff after being convicted of the murders in October 1986.

Vinter was released from prison after serving nine years for the 1995 murder of work colleague Carl Edon, 22 - but just three years later he stabbed his wife Anne White four times and strangled her, before being given a whole-life order.

Welsh serial killer Moore was convicted of four counts of murder in 1996 after killing four gay men across a period of four months.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled today: "There had to be both a possibility of release and a possibility of review."