Tag Archives: Alberto Costa

Local M.P. seeks assurances regarding Pitchfork release

Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth

During a debate in Parliament on Tuesday 23rd January, South Leicestershire M.P. Alberto Costa asked a Government minister for assurances that jailed double-killer Colin Pitchfork will only be released when he no longer poses a risk to the public.

Pitchfork raped and murdered schoolgirls Lynda Mann, Narborough in 1983 and Dawn Ashworth, Enderby, in 1986. Both girls were 15yrs of age.

The M.P., who was speaking in the House of Commons during a discussion of the case of John Worboys, the London cab driver who carried out a series of sexual assaults on female passengers, asked Justice Secretary David Gauke what steps he had taken to ensure the Parole Board fully takes account of public safety prior to releasing a prisoner.

The Parole Board recommended that Pitchfork, who was jailed in 1988, should move to an open prison in 2016 and cleared him for unsupervised visits in 2017.

Speaking to the Leicester Mercury 1 following the debate, Mr. Costa said his role was to ensure that decision makers are “properly scrutinised”.

Replying, the Secretary of State said the safety of the public must be the overriding objective in the mind of the Parole Board when it is considering whether to release a prisoner.

The South Leicestershire M.P., whose constituency covers Enderby and Narborough went on to tell the Mercury:

Alberto Costa M.P.
Alberto Costa M.P.

“That’s the assurance I have been given and, in the weeks and months ahead I will be pressing for as much information I can get about the reasons for his release – if he is released – and what safeguards have been put in place to prevent him ever offending again.

“We don’t know to what extent he has admitted his guilt or shown any remorse for his crimes.”

Mr Costa has previously told the Mercury that consideration should be given to overturning the existing rules which prevent the disclosure of Parole Board decisions.

Mr Costa said:

“The only way we can have that assurance is if the most important parts of the submissions to the Probation Board by or on behalf of Mr Pitchfork and which persuaded it to release him are made available.”

Safety of public is overriding concern

Secretary of State for Justice Mr David Gauke told Mr Costa:

David Gauke M.P.
David Gauke M.P.

“The safety of the public is the Parole Board’s overriding concern in considering whether a prisoner should be released.

“That will be the board’s concern when it comes to reviewing Pitchfork’s detention.

“I can confirm that the families of Pitchfork’s victims are receiving regular contacts under the probation victim contact service – specifically they have been given the opportunity to submit a victim personal statement to the Parole Board and to make representations regarding licence conditions for any upcoming parole hearing.”

Prof. Nick Hardwick
Prof. Nick Hardwick

Parole Board chairman Professor Nick Hardwick has indicated the body could take steps toward greater transparency and Lynda Mann’s sister, Rebecca Eastwood, who lives in Liverpool, backed Mr Costa’s call for key aspects Pitchfork’s “assessment” to be made public.

In 2015 Dawn Ashworth’s mother, Barbara, supported a petition calling for Pitchfork to not be released. Along with the Eastwood family, who raised the petition, she believed Pitchfork should remain in prison for the rest of his life.

1 The Leicester Mercury (This story)

MP visits school for ‘Coffee With Costa’

South Leicestershire MP, Alberto Costa, has visited Brockington College in Enderby in order to meet with senior staff, tour the school and take part in ‘Coffee With Costa’, a specially organised question and answer session with pupils and teachers.

Group photo. Alberto Costa with Brockington Principal and students
South Leicestershire M.P. Alberto Costa meets Brockington College Principal Chris Southall and students.

Mr Costa had previously visited the school in 2015 alongside the then Education Secretary, the Rt. Hon Nicky Morgan MP, when on this on that occasion he met with pupils to discuss his role as an MP and gave tips on how to enter a career in politics.

Mr Costa said,

“It was a delight to visit Brockington College for their very aptly titled ‘Coffee With Costa’ Q & A.

I enjoyed facing a particularly inquisitive bunch of pupils and it was great to answer their questions on a very broad range of subjects from Trident Renewal to votes for 16 year olds”.

Mr Chris Southall, Head Teacher of Brockington College, added,

We were delighted to be welcoming Alberto Costa to Brockington College.

“He has always been of real support to the college and other Blaby schools, taking a genuine interest in the work of the college and inspiring our pupils to learn more about our democratic system.”

Miss Bearne, More and Most Able Coorinator said: 

“Mr Costa, or Alberto as he insisted we call him, was extremely personable and excellent at making students feel comfortable enough to ask any questions they had.

“His public speaking skills have inspired some keen debaters who will be competing in a local event this October.

“His visit has engaged more students in politics as he encouraged them to find (and use) their own voice, to be active members of their community.”

Mr Costa concluded:

I’m very grateful to Miss Bearne and Mr Southall for their kind invitation to visit the college.

It’s always excellent to speak to young people with such a fervent interest in politics, and I look forward to returning back to Brockington soon and to face more questions.”

Local MP raises flag at A Place to Grow open day

MP for South Leicestershire Alberto Costa took the honour of raising the Green Flag Community Award at Blaby District Council’s A Place to Grow open day.

With good weather 315 people visited the open day to enjoy the garden and special activities on offer, including cake, children’s games and a BBQ. Two performances of loveable rogue Reynard the Fox, in partnership with Centre Stage, Fabularium and the Arts Council were also well received.

A total of £1,333 was raised to help support the garden. A Place to Grow is a free, sustainable Community Garden that supports Health and Wellbeing in the district by encouraging people to be physically active, get involved in the community and meet new people in a friendly, informal and safe environment.

Alberto Costa MP said:

Alberto Costa M.P.
Alberto Costa M.P.

“I was delighted to attend A Place to Grow’s Open Day today, it is truly an excellent initiative for the local community and it does an incredible amount of good work in promoting Health and Wellbeing to my constituents in Blaby District.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the volunteers, staff and site users on their award of the prestigious Community Green Flag from ‘Keep Britain Tidy’. This is a particularly well deserved accolade and I am very pleased to see that the great work of those involved with this project has been rightly recognised.”

Councillor Iain Hewson, Portfolio Holder for Health, Leisure and Regulatory Services, said:

Cllr Iain Hewson
Cllr. Iain Hewson

“This open day is our chance to show residents what a fantastic garden and set of volunteers we have here in Enderby, and how useful it could be to people.

“We were so pleased to welcome Alberto to the event and raise our Green Flag Community Award, which honours all the hard work taking place all year round.”

For more information about A Place to Grow, and for volunteering opportunities, visit www.blaby.gov.uk, e-mail leisure@blaby.gov.uk or call 0116 272 7703.

[Source and photos: Blaby District Council Communications]