In the House of Commons today Alberto asked the Prime Minister if he believes sexual offenders like Colin Pitchfork should remain in prison for most of their natural life.
Meanwhile, the Parole Board has scheduled an additional day to hear oral evidence as it reviews a decision to release double child rapist and murderer Colin Pitchfork, the first person in the world to be found guilty by DNA evidence. The new hearing date is listed for 6th November. Typically a decision from Parole Board comes within 14 days from final hearing (unless extended further) therefore approximately middle of November is current expectation.
The Parole Board is currently reconsidering its June 2023 decision to release Pitchfork following Mr Costa's request for the for the Parole Board to reconsider its decision.
The panel had convened for the hearing at the beginning of October, but they had to adjourn as there was insufficient time to hear all the evidence. The victims’ families have been informed via HMPPS and a new hearing date is listed for 6th November.
In Prime Minister’s Questions, Alberto Costa asked:
“Does the Prime Minister agree that, generally, as a point of principle, men—sexual offenders—who rape and brutally murder young women, as Mr Pitchfork did to Dawn Ashworth and Lynda Mann in my constituency, should remain in prison for most of their natural lives?”
The Prime Minister responded
“I agree with my hon. Friend that the public should be confident that murderers and rapists will be kept behind bars for as long as is necessary to keep the public safe. That is why we are reforming the parole system… Last week, we announced that we will be introducing longer sentences for dangerous criminals. For the most heinous crimes, life will mean life.”
Later Alberto provided the update: “The Parole Board has notified me that it needs to schedule a third day for the oral hearing to complete is reconsideration of Colin Pitchfork’s parole review and that date is November 6th. I do not want to speculate over what this means for the outcome of the hearing, but I welcome the fact that the Parole Board is taking time to properly hear the evidence; evidence that I believe will suggest that Mr Pitchfork remains a danger to the public and should not be released.”