1. ITV Report

Colin Pitchfork: 'DNA' child killer to get parole review

Colin Pitchfork, the first person in the world to be convicted of murder on the basis of DNA evidence. Credit: Police handout

The case of a child killer who was the first person to be convicted under DNA evidence is to be reviewed by the Parole Board.

Colin Pitchfork was jailed for life in 1988 for the rape and murder of Leicestershire schoolgirls Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth.

A spokesman for the Parole Board confirmed that Pitchfork's "suitability for release" would now be considered.

The mother of Dawn Ashworth said "life should mean life".

Pitchfork was caught after the world's first mass screening for DNA, where 5,000 men in three villages were asked to volunteer blood or saliva samples.

Colin Pitchfork is to be considered for release. Credit: ITV Central

He initially avoided police by asking a friend to take the test for him.

The case was the subject of a recent ITV drama called Code of a Killer, starring John Simm and David Threlfall.

Pitchfork killed 15-year-old Lynda, of Narborough, in 1983 and three years later he murdered Dawn, also 15, from Enderby.

Both girls were raped and strangled.

Pitchfork was given a minimum 30-year sentence which was cut to 28 years in 2009 on appeal.

Dawn's mother Barbara Ashworth told BBC Radio Leicester earlier this month:

He has no right to any freedom at all, because he took the lives of two girls, and their choices and life and hopes and dreams were just taken away from them, and why should he be able to continue his life normally?

I think life should mean life, because obviously if they're in prison they aren't put in a situation where they can commit these sort of crimes again.

I think the key should have been thrown away long ago.

– Barbara Ashworth

Once a case has been referred to the Parole Board, it usually takes around six months before a decision is announced.