Child killer who took two-year-old from her bed to remain in prison

Denise Bradbury Credit: BPM Media

A child killer who took a two-year-old girl from her bed will remain in prison after the Parole Board refused to release him. 

Robert Astley was jailed for life with a minimum of 20 years in 1983, after admitting the murder of Denise Bradbury.

Robert Astley Credit: BPM Media

He snuck into her home in Kingstanding, sexually assaulted her, and dumped her body in the back of a car in Sparkhill.

Astley, who was then 23, was sentenced to life imprisonment after confessing to murdering the toddler.

He was sent to Full Sutton prison – a maximum-security jail, but last year his case was referred to the Parole Board for his 11th review.

But it has once again been decided he will not be released on licence and there will be no recommendation for transfer to open prison.

Astley, who is now 62, has so far spent an additional 18 years in prison.

The panel concluded: "After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody and the evidence presented in the dossier, the panel was not satisfied that Mr Astley was suitable for release.

"Nor did the panel recommend to the Secretary of State that Mr Astley should be transferred to open prison.

"Given that key areas remained likely to be addressed, the panel considered that Mr Astley was appropriately located in custody where outstanding levels of risk could be addressed.

"The benefits of a move to open conditions at this time were considered by the panel to be limited and to be outweighed by the remaining risks that Mr Astley represents."

Denise Bradbury Credit: BPM Media

How does the Parole Board work?

They can recommend release of a prisoner if members are satisfied that it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that a prisoner remain in prison.

They could suggest transfer to open conditions and must provide a recommendation to the Secretary of State.

The panel considers evidence and information from the Secretary of State, probation officers, prison staff, psychologists and the prisoner's legal representations. Astley will be eligible for another parole review in due course. If his release is approved, the decision is provisional for 21 days to allow the victim’s family or the Secretary of State apply for the decision to be reconsidered.