Members of the communities in Enderby, Narborough and Littlethorpe and surrounding areas have pleaded for double child-killer Colin Pitchfork to remain locked up for life.
At the end of April, the family of Pitchfork’s first victim, 15-year-old Lynda Mann, raised an online petition on the change.org website that has attracted 12,545 supporters to date (20/05/15).
The family launched the petition after they were alerted (via a report in the local Leicester Mercury newspaper) that the latest legal process of deciding whether Pitchfork should be freed was underway.
Lynda Mann’s family has created the online petition to gather support for their belief that Pitchfork, who raped and murdered the 15-year-old in Narborough in 1983, is still a danger to the public.
Lynda’s sister, Rebecca, has collected signatures for the online petition from across the country as well as the local area. The petition is entitled “Never release this monster!”
The 33-year-old, Rebecca Eastwood, is reported as saying:
“I was only two years old when Lynda died. I have grown up seeing the effect of what he did on our mum [Kath Eastwood].
“I have seen her go through all of this pain. She is a strong woman, but the only thing which keeps her going is knowing that he is in prison.
“I really don’t know what it would do to her if he was ever let out.”
“If he is released he could end up anywhere in the country and we believe it is in everybody’s interest that he remains in prison.
“That’s why I will be contacting MPs in different towns and cities to make them aware of this case.”
Pitchfork was given two life sentences in January 1988 after he admitted raping and killing Lynda and Dawn Ashworth, also 15, in Narborough in 1983 and 1986.
He was the first killer to be convicted on the basis of DNA evidence. The murders of Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth were the subject of a two-part ITV drama screened earlier this year.
“Code of a Killer” told the story of how Colin Pitchfork senselessly murdered the two Leicestershire school girls and how he was brought to justice by a Leicester University scientist, Sir Alec Jeffreys. Jeffreys developed a new ‘genetic finger printing’ test that identified a local baker, Colin Pitchfork, as the culprit, (despite a crude attempt by him to dupe police and evade detection).
The parole board will consider reports on Pitchfork’s state of mind and conduct in prison before it decides whether he could be safely released or whether he might be transferred to a category ‘D’ or ‘open prison’, in order to prepare him for eventual release.
Dawn Ashworth’s mother, Barbara, supported the petition and also told the Leicester Mercury that, along with the Eastwood family, she believed Pitchfork should remain in prison for the rest of his life.
Rebecca Eastwood’s petition reads:
In 1983 Lynda Mann (my sister) was brutally raped and murdered. In 1986 Dawn Ashworth was also brutally raped and murdered by the same man Colin Pitchfork.
The police said at the time it was only that he’d gained a mistress between the two murders that he had not committed more murders.
After he murdered Dawn he went on to abduct another girl but she managed to escape (had he killed her he would be classed as a serial killer and we would not have to be taking these steps now, He would never be considered for parole).
When he murdered Lynda he had with him and left alone his 1 year old son in the car whilst he committed these atrocious crimes for his own depraved lust. Asked why he killed Lynda he replied “because she was there”.
He ultimately became the first person in the world to be convicted using DNA evidence.
During the course of investigation he coerced and manipulated a work colleague into taking the DNA test for him so as to avoid detection. He took his own passport and forged it to show the picture of his work colleague.
In 1988 he received 2 life sentences for the girls murders without the chance of parole until 2018.
5 years ago he unbelievably appealed his original sentence of minimum 30 years as being “unfair”. The appeal hearing heard how he had an exceptional record in jail never once being put on report, and he also gained a degree.
He appealed for a cut of 5 years in his sentence which would have seen him elegiable for parole immediately. Quite shockingly the court of appeal listened to his case and decided the sentence was unfair as well as taking his good behaviour into account and cut his sentence by 2 years.
He is currently in the process of applying for parole which will be heard in September. If his parole is approved he will be free within 6 months time if it is unsucsessful they are going to recommend him for a cat D prison were he will be free to come and go on a daily basis to work.
Our thoughts are this:
He has spent all of his sentence on the vulnerable prisoners wing so has not even socialised with people who have committed lesser crimes never mind having access to young girls
The degree speaks for itself really what else are you going to do in a cell 24/7
He is cold and calculated as he has proved in the past with his manipulation of others
He will kill again we have no doubt about that
If he is freed he will get a new identity and could end up anywhere in the country
Please sign our petition and please please please share it to your contacts and any other place you think it may gain a bit of attention”
On May 5th Rebecca tweeted:
“Thank you all so much for signing our petition. We have had an incredible response. Our family are overwhelmed with the messages of support. The press, TV and radio have all gotten involved now.
It is imperative this man is not released back into society. We would hate to just sit back and do nothing just for him to get out and re-offend taking someone else’s daughter, granddaughter, sister away from them forever.
Thank you so much for supporting us and please do keep sharing
View Leicester Mercury news item about the petition (Leicester Mercury May 2nd 2015)
View Leicester Mercury news item “Families anger at Pitchfork ‘secrets’ (Leicester Mercury May 1st 2009)