1. ITV Report

Black Panther killer inquest to begin

Donald Nielson Photo: PA

A coroner is due to hold an inquest into the death of serial killer Donald Neilson, who died in Norwich last year.

Neilson, the murderer known as the Black Panther, died after being transferred from Norwich Prison to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital suffering from pneumonia.

He was 75 at the time of his death in December last year.

Staff at the prison said Neilson, who suffered from motor neurone disease, had been feeling unwell for two days and had reported shortness of breath, coughing and feeling cold.

The coroner earlier heard that Neilson was vulnerable to pneumonia, partly as a result of his long-term condition.

Neilson was given four life sentences in 1975 and was one of a small group of notorious prisoners who were told they would spend the rest of their lives behind bars.

The jobbing builder kidnapped 17-year-old Lesley Whittle from her home in Shropshire, leaving a ransom demand for £50,000.

Her body was later found in an underground drainage system, hanging from the bottom of a ladder to which Neilson had secured her by the neck with wire.

He also shot dead three sub-postmasters during a series of armed robberies.

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