Decision on possible release of notorious child killer Colin Pitchfork could be made next month

Colin Pitchfork

A decision on whether notorious child killer Colin Pitchfork should be released from jail could be made next month.

Pitchfork has spent more than three decades behind bars serving a life sentence for the rape and murder of Leicestershire schoolgirls Linda Mann and Dawn Ashworth.

His parole hearing was due to take place this month but has been postponed.

Linda and Dawn, both 15, were killed by Pitchfork in 1983 and 1986 respectively.

A huge manhunt was launched in the Enderby area near where the crimes were committed - eventually catching Pitchfork using what was then pioneering DNA testing.

Ahead of the upcoming hearing, MP for South Leicestershire, Alberto Costa has expressed ‘huge concern’ to the Chief Executive of the Parole Board for England and Wales Martin Jones.

He said he met Mr Jones to reiterate the grave concerns of his constituents about Pitchfork’s potential release.

Pitchfork’s case was most recently refused by the Parole Board in 2018. Since then, he has been kept in an open prison.

In accordance with the law the Parole Board must review cases every two years.

Mr Costa has written to the Secretary of State for Justice Robert Buckland about his concerns.

I am of course hugely concerned at the prospect of convicted child-killer Colin Pitchfork being released on parole; his abhorrent crimes cast a shadow over parts of South Leicestershire for many years, and while the tragic of murders of Lynda and Dawn were some decades ago, they continue to live long in the memory of many of my constituents.

Alberto Costa, South Leicestershire MP (Con)

I always value meeting MPs to discuss cases that have the potential to cause significant local concern so I can explain the work of the parole board and how we make our decisions.... The parole board will not give a direction for release unless it is satisfied that it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that the prisoner be kept in prison.

Chief Executive of the Parole Board for England and Wales Martin Jones