South Leicestershire MP, Alberto Costa, has said he is ‘extremely saddened and disappointed’ as the convicted child-rapist and killer Colin Pitchfork was released from prison.
Mr Costa who represents the South Leicestershire constituency where Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth were brutally raped and murdered in 1983 and 1986, respectively, led a campaign to oppose Pitchfork’s release and had ‘pleaded’ with the Justice Secretary to intervene and demand that the Parole Board reconsider their decision.
The MP was successful in lobbying the Government to challenge the Parole Board’s initial decision to release the convicted child-killer under the ‘reconsideration mechanism’ that allows parole decisions to be formally reviewed if the decision to release a prisoner was viewed to be irrational or unreasonable.
However, the Parole Board for England and Wales have rejected the Government’s challenge with Pitchfork released from prison today.
Mr Costa said, “I am extremely saddened and deeply disappointed that the convicted child rapist and killer Colin Pitchfork has today been released from prison. Since I was first elected MP for South Leicestershire, where Pitchfork’s heinous crimes took place, I have worked tirelessly on behalf of my constituents and countless others to oppose his release. While I respect the Parole Board’s decision to reject the Government’s challenge against his release, I do not agree with it. In my view, Pitchfork still presents a very real danger to the public”.
Mr Costa added, “This case has made clear that the Parole Board’s opaque practices and processes must be reformed, and the system must work better for victims and their families, and I very much look forward to helping to shape the system for the better in the Government’s forthcoming root and branch review of the Parole Board. Questions will of course remain as to whether someone who has committed such heinous crimes should ever be released, in cases such as these where two innocent girls were murdered in the most horrendous fashion, life should simply mean life. My thoughts today, as ever, are with the families of Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth”.