Child killer Colin Pitchfork 'suitable for release', say parole board

Child killer Colin Pitchfork 'suitable for release', say parole board

06/07/2021

Notorious child killer Colin Pitchfork is set for FREEDOM: Parole board rules first person to be convicted using DNA after he raped and strangled two 15-year-old schoolgirls can be released following 33 years of life sentence

  • Colin Pitchfork was jailed for life for strangling Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth
  • He killed Mann in 1983 before killing Ashworth in 1986 – both in Leicestershire
  • Now the parole board say that Pitchfork is suitable for release from prison 

One of Britain’s most evil child killers Colin Pitchfork will learn next month if he will be released from jail

A man who raped and killed two schoolgirls in the 1980s is suitable for release from prison after serving 33 years of his life sentence, the Parole Board has said.

Colin Pitchfork was jailed for life after strangling 15-year-olds Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth in Leicestershire in 1983 and 1986.

A hearing took place in March to consider whether he was suitable for release and the decision was published on Monday.

A document detailing the Parole Board decision said: ‘After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody and the evidence presented at the hearing, the panel was satisfied that Mr Pitchfork was suitable for release.’ 

Pitchfork – the first person ever to be snared by DNA evidence – was jailed for life in 1988.

Pitchfork, known to police as a serial flasher, attacked the girls and dumped their bodies on dark, secluded footpaths located yards apart in Narborough.

Pitchfork raped and strangled Lynda after dropping his wife off at an evening class and while his baby son slept in the back of his car.

Three years later he raped and murdered Dawn in a similar attack.


Pitchfork – the first person ever to be snared by DNA evidence – was jailed for life in 1988 for raping and murdering 15-year-old Leicestershire schoolgirls Lynda Mann (left) and Dawn Ashworth (right) in 1983 and 1986

The killer was the first criminal to be caught by the revolutionary DNA profiling process pioneered by Sir Alec Jeffreys at the University of Leicester. 

Pitchfork’s case was most recently refused by the Parole Board in 2018. Since then, he has been kept in an open prison.

Volunteers taking tests in 1987 to help police find the murderer of Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth

In accordance with the law the Parole Board must review cases every two years. 

Ahead of his December hearing, MP for South Leicestershire, Alberto Costa expressed ‘huge concern’ to the Chief Executive of the Parole Board for England and Wales Martin Jones.

He said he met Mr Jones to reiterate the grave concerns of his constituents about Pitchfork’s potential release. 

Speaking in November last year, Mr Costa said: ‘I am of course hugely concerned at the prospect of convicted child-killer Colin Pitchfork being released on parole.

‘His abhorrent crimes cast a shadow over parts of South Leicestershire for many years, and while the tragic of murders of Lynda and Dawn were some decades ago, they continue to live long in the memory of many of my constituents.

‘I have consistently raised the issue of public safety with successive justice ministers, and with Pitchfork’s hearing now due on the horizon I was pleased to make further representations to the Chief Executive of the Parole Board for England and Wales’.

Speaking in November last year, Chief Executive of the Parole Board for England and Wales Martin Jones said the decision was up to the independent parole board. 

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