Possible release for whole-life murderer would be ‘national scandal’, victim's family say

Victor Farrant Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

The children of a woman killed by a murderer serving a whole-life sentence have described how the possibility of his release from prison on “compassionate grounds” makes their “blood boil” and would be a “national scandal”.

Victor Farrant was jailed for life for the murder of his former girlfriend Glenda Hoskins, 44, 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.”

Glenda Hoskins Credit: PA

But the family of Mrs Hoskins revealed last month they had been contacted by officials who said that Farrant was being considered for compassionate leave as he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and could have months to live.

The Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) is set to meet on Wednesday (April 10) to consider the case for Farrant’s release.

In a letter to be presented to the panel, Mrs Hoskins’ family have described their objection to Farrant’s release, stating: “Victor Farrant is an incredibly dangerous man with a hatred of women – if he is sick and dying then I’m afraid this makes him even more dangerous.

“What has he got to lose by killing/raping again if he knows he has only months to live.”

Glenda Hoskins worked as an accountant before her tragic death.

Farrant was jailed in November 1988 for a total of 12 years for rape and other offences, but just weeks after he was released on November 7, 1995, he savagely beat Ms Fidler at her home in Eastleigh, Hampshire.

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

He left her body in the attic where it was found 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.

The letter from Iain, Katie and David Hoskins – the three children of Mrs Hoskins – continues: “It’s shocking that the justice system is even considering this – you cannot overturn a judicial ruling.

Iain Hoskins, the eldest son of Glenda Hoskins who was murdered in 1996 by Victor Farrant Credit: Iain Hoskins/PA

“Justice Butterfield said that he should never be released, in the knowledge Farrant would die in prison. Him dying in prison, either of natural causes or a terminal illness was how his sentence was ruled in 1998.”

The family say that Farrant had not shown remorse in prison and add: “It appears grossly unjust if he is getting released early due to ill health – and the words ‘compassionate release’ make my blood boil.

“Our mother was raped and murdered and subjected to months of terror and stalking by this vile creature – where’s her compassion?

“He raped and drowned her and rolled her body up in a carpet for her daughter to find.

“Our mother died through the most violent and horrible ways – why is this man afforded an early release for dignity in death which our mother was never afforded?”

The family add that Farrant’s release would “cause huge anxiety for them” and would require friends of their late mother to be given police protection because of his “previous behaviour of vengeance”.

They continue that his release would be “national scandal” and add: “His past behaviour of reoffending with no remorse or fear of retribution make him still a dangerous man who could repeat again.

“This is a hazardous situation for us and the public at large – he attacked and killed only months after his last release.”

Following the meeting of the MAPPA panel, the case will go to the Ministry of Justice where the power lies with the Justice Secretary to grant or deny any application for early release from prison.

Penny Mordaunt, the Conservative MP for Portsmouth North, has written to the Justice Secretary Alex Chalk saying that she believed Farrant “should never be released”.

She wrote: “He is a danger to women and has demonstrated repeatedly, that he cannot be reformed.

“I find it deeply troubling that a man such as Mr Farrant is being considered for release on compassionate grounds when it is evident, he displayed no compassion towards his victims.

“I am writing to ask that you take an interest in this case. I would also ask that the concerns I have enclosed from those involved in Glenda’s case are also considered, carefully and in the spirit with which they are intended.”

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said in a previous statement: “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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