Cop killer's reduced security request rejected

One of Britain's "most dangerous" prisoners has heard his legally aided bid for a security downgrade slammed by a top judge as an "absurd" waste of public money.

Mr Justice Mostyn questioned why cop killer David Bieber's legal campaigns were funded by taxpayers whilst "desperate" parents fighting to see their children are being denied Government help.

Bieber, 48, committed the "bestial" 2003 murder of PC Ian Broadhurst, in Leeds, blasting the injured traffic policeman to death at point-blank range as he pleaded for his life. He was handed a "whole life" sentence at Newcastle Crown Court in December, 2004, after he was convicted of murder. However, his minimum term was later reduced to 37 years.

The merciless killer has since been held in maximum security conditions but has launched a string of legal challenges to improve his lot behind bars - all at public expense.

The judge today rejected Bieber's latest "completely untenable" challenge to his categorisation as a high escape risk.

PC Ian Broadhurst was killed by Bieber in 2003

Each of Bieber's challenges - which the judge said were all designed to make "his life is a little more comfortable" in prison - had been either refused, withdrawn or settled.

"All of the claims he has made have been funded by legal aid. I repeat - all of the claims he has made have been funded by legal aid," blasted the judge, who normally sits in the family courts.

"It is perhaps noteworthy that I have sat in this court, where I usually sit, with litigants in person before me - people who are desperate to see their children - from whom the Government has withdrawn all legal aid."

The judge said Bieber's crimes were "at the upper-end of bestial" and that it was "perfectly reasonable to suppose" that he would stage a break-out if he could.

Bieber entered the UK in 1996 using the stolen identity documents of a dead child while on the run from the authorities in his native US. He was accosted by two police officers on Boxing Day, 2003, after they spotted that the car he had parked outside a Leeds betting shop was fitted with false number plates.

A third officer arrived after a call for back-up and, as the police went to handcuff Bieber, he pulled a pistol and opened fire. One of the officers was hit in his shoulder and abdomen, while the second escaped injury, a bullet hitting his radio.

PC Broadhurst was shot in the back and fell to the ground badly wounded. The officer "pleaded for his life" as Bieber approached, but the cold-blooded killer shot him in the head."This truly was a bestial crime,"

Mr Justice Mostyn said, describing the remarks of the judge who caged Bieber as "sobering reading".

Bieber's earliest possible release date was set for 2041 and he would almost certainly be extradited to the US if ever freed from prison.

And the judge said he had rightly been ranked as "one of the most dangerous people currently in the prison system".

Bieber's security categorisation means he has to move cell every 28 days and change wing every three months, alongside other tight restrictions.

He was earlier this year found to be unfit for a security downgrade due to the "nature of his offending", fears that he had "access to finances, resources and/or associates that could assist with an escape attempt" and due to his very long sentence.

Philip Rule, for Bieber, argued that the director of high security, who took the decision, had failed to disclose all the information he took into account. He insisted that the killer's human right to a fair hearing had been violated.

Mr Justice Mostyn said Bieber had only been entitled to "the very broadest gist" of the information available to the director of high security.

He concluded: "The arguments that have been put forward in this case are completely untenable. "Indeed, I would characterise them as absurd."