Uncle of girl killed by Colin Pitchfork warns her release is “a very big risk” for children

“Some crimes that are so notorious … some crimes that are just not ‘parole’ … that really deserve a lifetime price.”


The uncle of one of the 15-year-old girls raped and murdered by Colin Pitchfork says his release endangers the safety of children wherever they are relocated.

Pitchfork, now in his sixties, was released after being jailed for life for raping and strangling Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth, 15 in Leicestershire in 1983 and 1986.

Dawn’s uncle, Philip Musson, has said ITV News Pitchfork’s crimes are not “parole” and believes his actions were so serious that they warrant a “lifetime price”.

“It is an eventuality that we dreaded as a family,” he said.

“I think there are crimes, fortunately not very many, but crimes which are so notorious – as they were – and (which) traumatized the community so much at the time, and certain crimes which did not are just not ‘parole’ capable ‘people who really deserve a lifetime fee.

“And the murder and rape of children is one of those crimes.”

Dawn Ashworth was one of the young victims of Pitchfork Credit: Topham / PA

Pitchfork became the first man convicted of murder based on DNA evidence in 1988.

His 30-year minimum sentence was reduced to two years in 2009, he was transferred to HMP Leyhill open prison in Gloucestershire three years ago, and he was released on Wednesday.

Dawn’s mother, Barbara Ashworth, said earlier that Pitchfork should have been kept behind bars for life.

His crimes had reduced his life to an “existence,” she said, adding: “I don’t think he should breathe the same air as us.”

Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth were raped and murdered by Colin Pitchfork.

Mr Musson said he “derives no pleasure from his incarceration” but warned that “it is a matter of protection of the public” and a “fair sentence for what were heinous crimes”.

“His release, as far as I’m concerned, shows a complete disregard for the worth of the lives of Lynda Mann and my niece,” he said.

“And also, I think it takes a very big risk with the children and families in the community where he is to be resettled, because it is an experiment to find out whether or not it is safe to be a member of the community again. public.

“Risk assessment is not an exact science and there are many examples where people have been wrong in the past. “


Philip Musson warns of “very big risk” for children

He added: “The authorities who confirmed this decision to release him are subjecting these children from the community where he is to be released to an experiment to find out whether he is safe or not.

“I only hope they’re right.”

Following a hearing in March, the Parole Board ruled that Pitchfork was “fit for release”, although this was denied in 2016 and 2018.



In June, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland asked the board, which is independent of government, to reconsider the decision under the so-called review mechanism.

But the parole board dismissed the government’s challenge to its decision the following month, announcing that the request for reconsideration of the decision had been denied.

Mr Buckland expressed disappointment but said he respected the decision.

South Leicestershire Tory MP Alberto Costa, who campaigned against the liberation, said he was “extremely saddened and deeply disappointed” by the news, warning: “In my opinion, Pitchfork still poses a very real danger for the public “.

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