Deputy PM urges board to reconsider release of Greater Manchester's most notorious rapist

Andrew Barlow, from Bolton, was given a 12th life sentence in 2010. Credit: PA Images

The decision to release serial rapist Andrew Barlow on parole 'should be reconsidered', the Deputy Prime Minister has said.

Barlow, previously Andrew Longmire, from Bolton, was given multiple life sentences in October 1988 after being convicted of 11 rapes, three attempted rapes, indecent assault, and using a firearm to resist arrest.

His tariff was fixed at 20 years, but in the decades that followed his conviction Longmire, was linked to more offending and he was given two further life sentences.

In 2010, he was linked to a case from 1981, where he raped a 26-year-old woman in her home in Sheffield in front of her three-year-old daughter.

In December 2022, the Parole Board approved his release which is due to take place in January.

Mr Raab announced a "root-and-branch" review of the parole system in November 2021. Credit: PA Images

But following the decision, Dominic Raab, who is also Justice Secretary, has now asked the board to reconsider.

He added: "My thoughts remain with the victims of Andrew Barlow, whose despicable crimes blighted the lives of dozens of women.

"Public protection is my number one priority, which is why I've asked the Parole Board to reconsider their decision to release him and I am overhauling the parole system to keep prisoners who pose a risk to the public off our streets."

The decision has previously been described as a "perversion of justice" by veteran Manchester Labour MP, Graham Stringer.

A petition has also been set up by the daughter of one of Barlow's victims.

A Parole Board Decision Summary said: "The panel examined the release plan provided by Mr Barlow’s probation officer and weighed its proposals against assessed risks. 

"The plan included a requirement to reside in designated accommodation as well as strict limitations on Mr Barlow’s contacts, movements and activities. 

"The panel concluded this plan was robust enough to manage Mr Barlow in the community at this stage."

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