Child killer Colin Pitchfork back in prison after breaching licence conditions

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    ouble child killer Colin Pitchfork has been arrested and recalled to prison following a breach of his licence conditions, two months after he was released.

    Pitchfork was jailed for life after raping and strangling 15-year-olds Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth in Leicestershire in 1983 and 1986.

    His 30-year minimum term was cut by two years in 2009, he was moved to open prison HMP Leyhill in Gloucestershire three years ago, and then released in September.

    Pitchfork, now in his early 60s, was arrested on Friday after probation staff identified “concerning behaviours”  and he is now back behind bars in a closed prison, the PA news agency understands.

    It’s a safer place when he’s behind bars and I won’t have to worry about other people being hurt by him for the time being

    He was not recalled for committing any further offences, the step was taken as a preventative measure and his victims families’ have been informed.

    A Probation Service spokesman said: “Protecting the public is our number one priority so when offenders breach the conditions of their release and potentially pose an increased risk, we don’t hesitate to return them to custody.”

    Dawn Ashworth’s mother, Barbara, told PA:  “I’m pleased that he’s been put away and women and girls are safe and protected from him now.“It’s a safer place when he’s behind bars and I won’t have to worry about other people being hurt by him for the time being.

    “But there’s always the worry that he might get out again, he seems to have a lot of people on his side who give him the benefit of the doubt.

    “But for now, I have to be pleased about the news.”

    The decision to release Pitchfork prompted a public outcry amid attempts to keep him behind bars. When those failed, he was subjected to more than 40 licence conditions, which the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) described as some of the strictest “ever set”.

    Following a hearing in March, the Parole Board ruled that Pitchfork was “suitable for release”, despite this being denied in 2016 and 2018.

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