'Absolutely reckless' to give murderer compassionate release warns victim's family

Glenda Hoskins in 1995. Credit: Family handout

The family of a mother-of-three murdered 28 years ago have criticised discussions about her killer's potential early release from prison as "absolutely reckless".

Victor Farrant was handed a whole life sentence for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Glenda Hoskins, who was in her forties, in Portsmouth in February 1996.

But now her grieving children have been told Farrant is ill and can no longer receive care in jail.

Glenda's eldest son Iain says his mother’s killer is a dangerous man who could “strike again” if freed from jail.

The 47-year-old said his family felt “railroaded” after they were contacted by officials last Monday to discuss geographical exclusion zones for Farrant in the event he was released on compassionate grounds.

The family were told the convict has terminal cancer and could have months to live, but Mr Hoskins said the family objects to his release.

The restaurateur, based in Liverpool, described Farrant as a “completely dangerous man”, adding he knows how to milk the system and would stop at nothing to get out of prison.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said it has not yet received a formal release application.

Glenda Hoskins worked as an accountant before her tragic death. Credit: Family handout

“For anybody that’s got any say in considering this, it’s a completely reckless decision to make,” Mr Hoskins said.

“Anybody that would make that decision to have him released, potentially the blood is on their hands.

“He could strike again, with anybody. It might not be a revengeful or vengeful attack on us or our family. It could be the nurse at the hospice that he’s released to, it could be the woman at the corner shop.”

He added: “This is about everybody and about why on earth would they take such a ridiculous risk for someone that has a history of this.”

  • Iain Hoskins says Farrant is a dangerous psychopath

Farrant was jailed for life for the murder of his former girlfriend Mrs Hoskins, then aged in her forties, and the attempted murder of Ann Fidler, 45, at Winchester Crown Court in 1998.

Sentencing him, Mr Justice Butterfield had said: “This murder was so terrible and you are so dangerous that in your case the sentence of life should mean just that.

“You should never be released.”

Farrant was jailed for life.

Farrant had been jailed in November 1988 for a total of 12 years for rape and other offences.

He was released on 7 November 1995, just weeks before he savagely beat Ms Fidler at her home in Eastleigh, Hampshire.

Six weeks later, he murdered Mrs Hoskins at her home in Portsmouth by pushing her under the water in the bath.

He left her body in the attic, where it was later discovered by her 15-year-old daughter Katie.

After killing Mrs Hoskins, Farrant went on the run and was eventually found in the south of France.

Glenda Hoskins pictured with her three children, Katie, David and Iain in 1982 in Spain. Credit: Family handout/PA

Mr Hoskins questioned how Farrant would be policed if he was granted compassionate release, and said the family have not been given details about whether he would be staying at a hospice under supervision or other accommodation.

Speaking of his siblings’ reaction, he said: “They obviously feel petrified of this and again, we never, ever saw this coming because the judge’s comments was he should serve life and he will serve life.

“The fact that he may or may not be dying doesn’t give us any comfort whatsoever. If someone’s got nothing to lose… I think well, what’s to stop him from killing or raping or kidnapping again?”

The family have written to their MPs, to Home Secretary James Cleverly and Justice Secretary Alex Chalk expressing their objections to Farrant’s release.

They said a panel meeting discussing Farrant’s release is being held in early April before it will go to the Ministry of Justice.

The power lies with the Justice Secretary to grant or deny applications for early release from prison.

Mr Hoskins added: “He should be denied that privilege. Some people might say at least give him the dignity of dying on the outside.

“Unfortunately, my mum doesn’t have that luxury of the 30 years, 40 years that he stole when he killed her in 1996.”

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “Glenda Hoskins’ murder was a horrific crime and our thoughts remain with her family and friends.

“Prisoners are only released on compassionate grounds in exceptional circumstances following strict risk assessments and no formal application has yet been made in this case.”

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