Tag Archives: DNA

Lynda Mann’s family fears that child killer Pitchfork will be released next month

Local media is reporting that double child killer, Colin Pitchfork, will be permanently released from prison following a parole hearing next month, the family of his first victim fears.

Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth
Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth

A report in the Leicester Mercury says that Pitchfork, who was jailed in 1988 for raping and murdering 15yr old Leicestershire schoolgirls Lynda Mann from Narborough and Dawn Ashworth from Enderby, in 1983 and 1986, will go before a behind-closed-doors parole board scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 24.

The board will assess whether it would be safe to release the 56-year-old.

Its ruling will be made public, but no details of the grounds for its decision will be released. Also, it will consider written statements from the families.

Lynda’s sister, Rebecca Eastwood, said her family believes the killer will be cleared for full release as he has made an unknown number of unescorted trips out of custody, including one in Bristol city centre, in the past few months.

This week, the family – who have collected approximately 40,000 signatures on petitions against his release – learned for the first time he has been allowed out overnight on his own.

Rebecca said: “He was allowed out in Bristol city centre without any kind of escort late last year and, we were told this week, he’s been out overnight on his own as well since then.

“So, by the look of it, they have already made their minds up about him.

“I think the decision is pretty much made and he is going to be released after the parole hearing at the end of May.

“We’re told the hearing is on May 24 and then it could be anything up to two weeks before a decision is made.

“We really do think we’ve reached the point where he will be freed.

“As far as we know, he’s going to have a new identity, a new start in life.

“We are still living with the loss and the consequences of what he did to Lynda and Dawn and still believe it is not safe to release this man.”

Last summer, the Ministry of Justice told the girls’ families that Pitchfork had been allowed to leave custody under the close supervision of Prison Service personnel.

A short time later, the ministry notified them that he was deemed ready for unescorted days out.

Pitchfork raped and murdered Lynda in November 1983, leaving her body near the Black Pad footpath, in Narborough.

Full Leicester Mercury item is viewable here

Drama based on Narborough murders will air on TV

Pitchfork was the first killer to be convicted using DNA
Pitchfork was the first killer to be convicted using DNA

Double child killer Colin Pitchfork is the subject of a television drama that tells of the first killer to be caught by the DNA fingerprinting technique pioneered by the University of Leicester’s Professor Alec Jeffreys.

The film, being made by ITV and due to air next year, is reportedly being called “Code of a Killer”, and will begin filming in the area of Enderby and Narborough along with the University of Leicester campus later this year. The DNA evidence famously led to Colin Pitchfork being jailed for murdering two 15yr old schoolgirls in the 1980s.

Lynda Mann from Narborough, was sexually assaulted and strangled with her own scarf and left in the open near Carlton Hayes Hospital, near Narborough, in 1983. Dawn Ashworth, of Enderby, was murdered in similar fashion, also in Narborough, in July 1986.

Pitchfork, who lived in Littlethorpe, was uncovered after more than 5,000 local men were required to give DNA samples to the police. He was convicted and jailed for life for the murder of both girls.

ITV say the programme would “tell the story sensitively and respectfully”.

Actors John Simm, Lorcan Cranitch, Robert Glenister and Siobhan Redmond are reported to be included in the cast line-up.

The drama is still being cast but it is believed that film and television actor/director David Threlfall, best known for playing Frank Gallagher in Channel 4’s series Shameless, has been cast as Detective Chief Superintendent David Baker who led the hunt for the killer. Superintendent Baker ordered the mass DNA testing, which became known as ‘The Blooding’.

Murder victim’s relatives thank DNA pioneer for helping catch her killer

Sir Alec Jeffreys (Photo: Jane Gitschier)

The uncle and aunt of murder victim Lynda Mann last night had the first chance in nearly 30 years to thank forensic scientist Sir Alec Jeffreys for helping catch her killer.

news story by Tim Healy, writing in the Leicester Mercury newspaper, reports that Rob Eaton and his wife Lynda shed tears as they shook DNA pioneer Sir Alec’s hand for his pioneering work on DNA fingerprinting carried out at University of Leicester.

The teenager’s killer, Colin Pitchfork, was the first person convicted of murder based on DNA fingerprinting evidence, and the first to be caught as a result of mass DNA screening.

Mr and Mrs Eaton met Sir Alec at the opening of the University of Leicester’s new Forensic Science Institute, which is named after him.

Mr Eaton, of Wigston, said:

“I had waited 28 years for the opportunity to shake his hand for what he did to put Pitchfork behind bars.

“It was a very emotional meeting and Sir Alec was charming. It is clear he also pointed the police in the right direction.”

Mrs Eaton, the Mayor of Oadby and Wigston, said:

“He told us a lot of information which has put our minds at rest. He is a lovely man.”

Sir Alec, who spoke with the couple for 10 minutes, said he hoped to have a private meeting with the family soon.

Leicestershire baker Pitchfork raped and murdered 15-year-old Lynda, of Narborough, in November, 1983, and raped and murdered Dawn Ashworth, also 15, from Enderby, in July 1986.

Pitchfork was caught after police took blood samples from nearly 5,000 men. He initially evaded capture by persuading a colleague to give a blood sample for him.

He was arrested at his home in Littlethorpe after the colleague was later overheard talking in a pub about what he had done. Pitchfork gave a blood sample and his DNA profile matched that of the killer.

He was jailed in 1988 for life for the murders.

The Home Office ruled in 1994 he should serve 30 years before being considered for release, leaving him eligible for parole in 2018.

The University of Leicester’s new Alec Jeffreys Forensic Science Institute aims to be a leader in the field of forensic science. It will help police forces with some of the requests previously handled by the former Forensic Science Service, which shut in March after the Government said it was not cost-effective.

The uncle and aunt of murder victim Lynda Mann last night had the first chance in nearly 30 years to thank forensic scientist Sir Alec Jeffreys for helping catch her killer.

Rob Eaton and his wife Lynda shed tears as they shook DNA pioneer Sir Alec’s hand for his pioneering work on DNA fingerprinting carried out at University of Leicester.

Sir Alec, who retired in September but is continuing as an Emeritus Professor, said:

“When the university said they were thinking of naming the institute after me I was obviously very honoured.

“This institute has real potential to provide much-needed breadth and depth of expertise, especially in complex casework, as well as a voice for the proper funding of forensic science research in the UK.”

The university will fund the institute, which unites staff from the departments of criminology, chemistry, engineering, cancer studies and molecular science and will involve police agencies.

The new institute is being run by Dr John Bond, a senior lecturer in forensic sciences in the department of chemistry who was awarded an OBE last year for his services to forensic science, and Dr Lisa Smith, a lecturer in the Department of Criminology. Dr Bond said: “We aim to provide a forum whereby problems in policing can be aired and ways found to overcome them.”

Dr Smith added:

“By bringing together the various disciplines at the university we will be able to provide the criminal justice system with a wider range of expert consultancy, research and innovation, teaching and continuing professional development.”

Reproduced from Leicester Mercury website 20/11/12