South Leicestershire MP, Alberto Costa, again made an urgent appeal to the Secretary of State for Justice to intervene and challenge the release of convicted child-killer Colin Pitchfork who was provisionally cleared for release by the Parole Board on Monday 7th June.
Speaking in the House of Commons during the Rape Review Statement today (21st June), Alberto made a further plea to the Justice Secretary to challenge the Parole Board’s decision to release Pitchfork using 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.
Alberto had previously appealed to the Justice Minister and had asked the public to join his campaign in opposing Pitchfork’s release by signing a petition and writing to the Ministry of Justice directly.
Yesterday the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, The Rt. Hon Robert Buckland QC MP, announced that he was taking advice and ‘thinking very carefully’ about challenging the Parole Board’s decision and will make his announcement within the 21 day period following the decision being made.
Pitchfork, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1988 for the rape and murder of Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth in 1983 and 1986 respectively, was the first person to be convicted using DNA fingerprinting, pioneered by Sir Alec Jeffreys at the University of Leicester.
Alberto said, “On behalf of Lynda and Dawn’s families and my constituents in South Leicestershire, I was very pleased to again be able to raise the urgent matter of Pitchfork’s release with the Justice Secretary and to appeal for his immediate intervention. Following the Parole Board’s appalling decision a few weeks ago, my inbox has been weighing heavy with correspondence of concern, anguish and upset from people across the country; it is simply inconceivable to believe that this man, convicted of the most egregious crimes imaginable, could ever be released, hence why I am pleading with the Justice Minister to intervene urgently”.
Alberto added, “I am immensely grateful to all those who have signed the petition and written to the Ministry of Justice on this matter; this is real, positive people power in action and I know my constituents in South Leicestershire are hugely thankful for their efforts. I have formally written to the Justice Secretary and pleaded with him in the House of Commons on two occasions, and I will continue doing all I can to lobby him in making the correct decision in this instance, and challenge the release of a man who still presents a serious danger to so many”.