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7 Jun, 2021 17:00

Child murderer & 1st UK criminal convicted using DNA evidence now ‘suitable for release,’ says Parole Board

Child murderer & 1st UK criminal convicted using DNA evidence now ‘suitable for release,’ says Parole Board

Child rapist and murderer Colin Pitchfork, the first person in the UK to be convicted of a crime using DNA evidence, has been deemed suitable for release from prison by the Parole Board.

Pitchfork was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1988 for the rape and murder of two 15-year-old schoolgirls in Leicestershire after his DNA was found to match material left at the crime scenes.

The murderer has spent over 30 years behind bars, where his requests for parole were repeatedly denied. However, the Parole Board has now deemed Pitchfork suitable for release, according to reports.

“After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody and the evidence presented at the hearing, the panel was satisfied that Mr Pitchfork was suitable for release,” read an official document shared with UK news outlets on Monday.

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The Parole Board claimed Pitchfork’s “behaviour in custody has been positive and included extensive efforts to help others,” adding that he no longer thinks “about sex a lot” like he did at the time of the murders, when he used “sex to demonstrate power and control over women.”

News of Pitchfork’s potential release has been met with protests, including from South Leicestershire MP Alberto Costa, who said he was “appalled” by the decision and will fight to make sure that the parole is “reconsidered” and Pitchfork is “kept behind bars.”

“Even though some 30 years have passed, this isn't the sort of crime one can ever forget,” said Costa, noting that some of his constituents in Leicestershire “went to school with these victims.”

“It would be immoral, wrong and frankly dangerous to release this disgraceful murderer of two children,” the MP concluded.

Pitchfork previously sparked controversy in 2017 after he was photographed wandering the streets of Bristol on day release. The murderer was spotted shopping at several stores and sitting on a bench as women walked by, unaware of his sinister past.

The photos horrified Kath Eastwood, mother of victim Lynda Mann, who said Pitchfork should “be locked up forever” for his crimes.

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