‘Freeing child killer is an insult to his young victims’

The parents of a murdered teenager whose body was dumped in a Welsh woodland have described the news that convicted child killer Colin Pitchfork is eligible for release as an “insult to the young victims”.

Georgia Williams’ family say that Pitchfork – who was jailed for life after strangling 15-year-olds Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth in Leicestershire in 1983 and 1986 – should be kept in prison “because life should mean life”.

The Parole Board has ruled Pitchfork can be released following a hearing in March – the decision of which was announced on Monday – but MPs also heard that the Lord Chancellor is looking at the case “as we speak” and considering whether or not to ask for it to be reconsidered.

Double murderer and rapist Colin Pitchfork, now 61, who is set to be released on parole after 33 years in prison
Double murderer and rapist Colin Pitchfork, now 61, who is set to be released on parole after 33 years in prison

Georgia was 17 when she was killed in 2013, and her parents’ words were shared in the Commons on Wednesday as MPs participated in an opposition day debate on justice for victims.

Jamie Reynolds, who is a serving a whole-life sentence, killed Georgia after luring her into his home in Shropshire in 2013.

The then-23-year-old invited Georgia to his home for a photo shoot but killed her in a meticulously-planned trap, hanging her from a length of rope attached to the loft hatch.

Her body was found dumped in woodland in Nant-y-Garth pass, near Wrexham, following a huge search.

Jamie Reynolds who strangled Georgia Williams and dumped her body in woodland before fleeing to Scotland.
Jamie Reynolds (right) who strangled Georgia Williams (left) and dumped her body in woodland before fleeing to Scotland.

Conservative Lucy Allan (Telford) told the House on Wednesday (June 9): “I rise to speak on behalf of Georgia Williams, and her family.

“Almost exactly eight years ago today Georgia suffered a brutal death at the hands of a sadistic killer. A killer who repeatedly sought out young victims, groomed and stalked them as he pursued and finally executed a grotesque sexual fantasy.

“The perpetrator rightly received a whole life term. Georgia was 17, she was optimistic, she was fun she was happy, she shone with light and energy. Full of hope for the future she had her whole life to live, ambitions to be fulfilled, dreams to come true. Georgia was all about what is so good about young people.”

She told colleagues that Georgia’s parents had “reached out to her” on hearing the news about Pitchfork “because they know the grief and suffering victims families feel and they want others to understand, they want others to know why life must mean life”.

Ms Allan called on the Government to “focus on the role of the parole board” and “ensure it has the full confidence and trust of the public and its victims”.

Closing her speech, she recounted the comments from Georgia’s parents: “To hear that Colin Pitchfork, who took the lives of two children for his own pleasure is to be released is an insult to the young victims.

“The impact of losing a child is devastating, because you know that those last minutes of your loved one’s life was spent in terror. These monsters destroy more than one life, they destroy whole families.

“It’s been eight years of torment for me and my family since Georgia was taken and the impact on my mental health has ruined my life and in turn my family’s and there is no cure for my suffering. Based on my experience as a police detective, I believe Pitchfork would kill again, I have seen it all too often.

“Victims and families are forgotten in a short while, but the terror and chaos it causes in our lives goes on. We want to reach out to ease the extreme distress and suffering of other families. Lucy please do everything you can for the victims of Colin Pitchfork, to ease their families’ suffering.

“Keep Pitchfork in prison, because life must mean life.”

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In reference to Pitchfork, Home Office minister Chris Philp told the House: “The Government, of course, has seen the independent Parole Board’s decision of Monday of this week to release that man.

“Thanks to legislation passed a year or two ago it is within the power of the Lord Chancellor to review those decisions and to ask the Parole Board to think again.

“I can confirm to the House that the review of that decision is currently ongoing and will be concluded before the expiration of the relevant time limit. It is a case the Lord Chancellor is acutely aware of and is looking at as we speak.”

WalesOnline – Wales News