South Leicestershire MP, Alberto Costa, has written to the Secretary of State for Justice and the Minister for Crime and Policing to seek an ‘urgent’ update on the future of the convicted child rapist and killer Colin Pitchfork.
Pitchfork was recalled to prison in November last year after only being released on parole a matter of weeks before. Mr Costa, who has been campaigning against Pitchfork’s release since 2015, has been highly critical of the Parole Board’s decision to release Pitchfork, and has now written to the Ministry of Justice to ask for more information relating to his next parole hearing and his present whereabouts in the prison system.
The MP 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.
Mr Costa 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 then rejected the Government’s challenge with Pitchfork released from prison in September last year.
Mr Costa said, “Despite my repeated requests for further information from the Parole Board relating to Pitchfork’s case, my office has still not received the necessary detail that I require to inform my constituents and reassure them accordingly.
“As such, I have now been forced to raise this as an urgent matter with the Secretary of State for Justice to ask about the timescales involved for Pitchfork’s next parole hearing and his present whereabouts”.
Mr Costa added, “The deeply flawed nature of the Parole Board’s initial decision to release Colin Pitchfork last year was only highlighted by his recall to prison only a matter of weeks later due to concerns about his behaviour while on release.
“Given these concerns were serious enough to prompt his recall to prison, it is now imperative to know the next steps in this process, such as when he will appear before the Parole Board for a further hearing and whether he will be accommodated in an open or closed prison.
“Given the clear and ongoing danger Pitchfork continues to present, answers to these questions are incredibly important so that I can inform my constituents and others accordingly, so I very much look forward to the Minister’s response on this matter”.