Second-Time Killer Murders Again On Day Release

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A triple killer has been jailed for a third time for the murder of a pensioner who was stabbed when he went to help his convicted paedophile neighbour who was being robbed in Hertfordshire – experts argue it must not damage the release of life sentence prisoners.

Ian McLoughlin, 55, above, was given life with a minimum of 40 years at the Old Bailey after he admitted killing Graham Buck in Little Gaddesden in July.

Mr Buck, 66, suffered fatal stab wounds when he responded to cries from the home of 86-year-old Francis Cory-Wright in the village near Berkhamsted.

McLoughlin was on day release from prison where he was serving a life term for the murder of Brighton barman Peter Halls, whom he stabbed multiple times in 1992.

He had previously been jailed for the manslaughter of Len Delgatty, 49, in 1984, whom he hit over the head with a hammer after a row, before leaving his body in a cupboard.

Mr Justice Sweeney said that he was barred from passing a whole life term because of a European judgment that those sentences are in breach of human rights.

The judge said: “The implementation of a whole life order within the current legislative framework in this country is in breach at the time of passing of sentence of article three of the European Convention.

“It is not appropriate to impose a whole life term.

“However even for a man of 55 years of age, the minimum term of years must be a very long one indeed.”

He read part of the victim impact statement from Mr Buck’s wife Karen who said: “To kill him was the most senseless, vicious act of violence.

“His family, friends and I will never be able to make sense of what happened. There was no justifiable reason and we will be left with that thought, and of his pain and suffering, for the rest of our lives.”

She said breaking the news of the death to her daughter was “the worst act I have ever had to carry out in my entire life

McLoughlin met Mr Cory-Wright in prison, and turned up at his house on July 13 while on day release from HMP Spring Hill, claiming to need help setting up a charity supporting elderly ex-offenders.

Mr Cory-Wright was jailed for 30 months in 2011 for indecently assaulting a 10-year old boy in the 1970s.

The meeting began pleasantly, but McLoughlin then grabbed the 87-year-old from behind and demanded to know where he kept his “gold and silver”.

He tied him to his bed, stuffed silver family heirlooms into a pillowcase and demanded bank cards and pin codes.

Father-of-three Mr Buck, who lived two doors away from Mr Cory-Wright, went to help him after hearing shouting in his front garden.

In police interview, McLoughlin said: “I’m not sorry for what I did to the nonce, but I’m sorry for what I did to the pensioner.”

He said he was confronted by Mr Buck as he tried to flee Mr Cory-Wright’s house, dragged him back into the kitchen and stabbed him in the neck.

Witnesses described seeing Mr Buck with his throat slashed “wide open”, prosecutor Ann Evans said. He died on his front lawn, with his pet dog sitting beside him.

Mr Justice Sweeney said: “The photographs I have seen make it clear that it is no exaggeration to say that the slash was wide enough to put a fist in.”

McLoughlin also admitted robbery and was given eight years to run concurrently.

The court heard details of his history of violence. When he killed Mr Delgatty, 49, he hit him over the head with a hammer several times after a row and left his body in a cupboard.

He also tied a towel around his neck to reduce the blood loss and the noise of the blows.

McLoughlin was jailed for 10 years for manslaughter at the Old Bailey, reduced to eight years on appeal.

After his release, he went to live in Brighton, where Mr Halls, 55, offered him work.

McLoughlin said he assumed Mr Halls was gay and thought he might be expected to sleep with him.

Ms Evans said: “The defendant claimed that Mr Halls confessed to liking young boys and … that he took holidays in Morocco for under-age sex.”

McLoughlin stabbed Mr Halls several times and had served 21 years behind bars before killing Mr Buck.

Speaking outside the court after sentence, Mr Buck’s wife, Karen, said: “Today has brought to a conclusion the first part of a long journey for myself and Graham’s family.

“The sentence handed down by Mr Justice Sweeney today reflected the seriousness of the crimes Ian McLaughlin committed.

“However, at the end of the day, it does not change anything. I would once again like to thank everyone who has helped and supported us through the period since Graham’s death, especially the police officers, the family liaison officers, and all our friends, neighbours and colleagues.

“Many questions still remain unanswered at this stage, and I await the Ministry of Justice’s inquiry into day release of prisoners with interest.

“Graham’s death has left a hole in many people’s lives. He will be missed but he will not be forgotten.”

Mark Leech, editor of Converse the national newspaper for prisoners said the murder of Graham Buck must not be allowed to damage the day release system for life sentence prisoners.

“Risk assessments, which are carried out on every lifer who goes on day release, is not an exact science.

“Of course if prison staff had any idea that murder or robbery was McLoughlin’s intention that day he would have been back inside a closed prison pretty much instantly – but McLoughlin’s plans were known only to himself.

“McLoughlin’s case must not be allowed to damage the very good system of releasing life sentence prisoners on day release which, over 50 years, has proved itself to be a valuable tool in assessing trust and reliability even if on the rare occasions like this when it goes wrong – it goes horrifically wrong.”

 

Drug Gang Jailed For 167 Years

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Members of drugs gangs, who worked together to peddle over £1.5m of heroin and cocaine across Lancashire and other parts of the country, have been jailed for a total of 167 years one month.

36 people have now been sentenced as a result of Operation Oak, a covert Lancashire Constabulary Serious and Organised Crime Operation into the activities of criminal gangs operating in Blackburn and Preston, as well as other parts of Cumbria, Merseyside, Berkshire and West Yorkshire.

They were arrested in a series of early morning raids in August and September 2011 after a major police operation involving hundreds of police officers from across the northwest. During the various investigations which followed, over £1.5million worth of drugs were seized by police, along with over £200,000 in cash.

Gang leaders Suhail Vohra, 32, of Charnwood Close, Blackburn, Babar Qasam, 34, of Chestnut Walk, Blackburn; Asrer Khan, 29, of Dove Street, Preston; Neil Scarborough, 32, of Moor Hall St, Preston; Brett McWilliam, 22, of St Andrews Street, Barrow in Furness; Gary Rowlands, 28, of Sloop St, Barrow in Furness; Roman Moscicki, 30 of Adam Close, Slough; Rahman Miah, 29, of Azalea Court, Bradford and Jonathon Nicholls, 31, of Oak Grove, Tarbuck, Liverpool – along with their associates – were all sentenced for supplying class A drugs or money laundering offences.

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At a final sentencing hearing at Preston Crown Court on Monday 13 May, Tahier Chand, 34, of Manchester Road, Huddesfield was jailed for five years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply heroin. He is the 36th person to be sentenced in connection with Operation Oak.

Details of the full investigation can only now be made public due to reporting restrictions which were lifted following a hearing at Preston Crown Court last week.

Detective Superintendent Lee Halstead, of Lancashire Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: “Operation Oak has dismantled a network of drugs gangs responsible for the supply of over £1.5million worth of cocaine and heroin across northern England and has resulted in the recovery of huge sums of cash.

“As a result these people, who did not have a legitimate income, led comfortable and in some cases quite affluent lifestyles, acting as negative role models to young people. This was at the expense and misery of other residents in the community, whose lives were blighted by the effects of drug dealing and associated violence in their neighbourhoods.

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“This has been a large scale investigation and we have worked closely with officers from our neighbouring forces and the Crown Prosecution Service. Together, our actions have prevented a significantly large amount of drugs from reaching the streets of Lancashire helping to make the county a safer place.”

Billboard posters and leaflets will now be used to highlight the sentences to the communities who were affected by the gangs as part of Lancashire Constabulary’s Behind Bars campaign.

Det Supt Lee Halstead added: “Our planned ‘Behind Bars’ campaign should now remind everyone that 167 years in prison is proof that crime certainly does not pay.

“It’s incredibly important that people continue to support the police by providing us with information so that we can keep them safe and look for ways to prevent organised crime gangs from operating in the future.

Joanne Cunliffe, Crown Advocate from the CPS North West Complex Casework Unit added: “The fact that 36 individuals have been brought to justice for their involvement in the large scale supply of Class A drugs across the north of England is a testament to the close partnership between the CPS, Lancashire Police, Cumbria Police and other neighbouring forces.

“From the early stages of this investigation, the prosecution team provided guidance and advice to the police and tirelessly worked with them to build a strong case against each defendant.

“As a result we have successfully secured their convictions and dismantled a prominent source of drugs in our region and surrounding areas. The message is clear, we will not tolerate the supply of drugs on our streets and we are wholly committed to prosecuting those responsible.”

Anyone with information or concerns can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Mark Bridger ‘To Die In Jail’…. or will he?

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Paedophile Mark Bridger has joined a group of notorious criminals who have been given whole life sentences for their horrific crimes – but commentators suggest that is likely to be quashed by the Court of Appeal .

Bridger, 47, kidnapped five-year-old April Jones, before sexually abusing her, murdering her and then disposing of her body. Her parents Paul, 41, and Coral, 43, are now coming to terms with the fact that Bridger may never reveal what he did with their daughter.

A heartbreaking victim impact statement from April’s mother also revealed how she will always “live with the guilt” of letting April, who had cerebral palsy, play out the night Bridger snatched her away from her loving family.

Bridger, a former slaughterhouse worker, was given a whole life sentence by trial judge Mr Justice Griffith Williams after he was convicted by a jury at Mold Crown Court of April’s abduction and murder and of perverting the course of justice by unlawfully disposing, destroying or concealing her body. Only 47 other criminals in the UK have been handed such sentences.

Sentencing Bridger, Mr Justice Griffith Williams said: “There is no doubt in my mind that you are a paedophile, who has for some time harboured sexual and morbid fantasies about young girls.”

Police believe Bridger dismembered little April’s body before dumping the body parts at various locations in the hills, rivers and forests surrounding his home in Cienws, mid-Wales, after traces of her blood were found all over his rented cottage.

In her statement, read to the court by Elwen Evans QC, prosecuting, Coral Jones said: “Words alone cannot describe how we are feeling or how we manage to function on a daily basis, and I would never, ever want any other family to go through what we are and will go through for the rest of our lives.”

As the sentence was handed down Bridger, wearing a blue shirt and spotted tie, nodded when he was told he would spend the rest of his life behind bars, but shook his head when the judge called him a paedophile.

In a statement, Ed Beltrami, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Wales, said: “Ever since his first interview with police in October last year, Mark Bridger has relentlessly spun a web of lies and half-truths to try and distance himself from the truly horrific nature of the crime he perpetrated. He has refused to take responsibility for what he did to April and has stopped at nothing to try and cover his tracks.”

April’s parents said the family was relieved by the verdict. In a statement read outside court, Coral said: “We are relieved that Mark Bridger has today been found guilty of the murder of our beautiful daughter April. April will be forever in our hearts and we are so moved by the overwhelming support we have had from so many people all over the world.”

Mark Leech, editor of Converse the national newspaper for prisoners in England and Wales said he wondered how many more victims lay at the door of Mark Bridger.

Mr Leech said: “People just do not wake up at the age of 47 and become child sex killers, there needs to be a serious investigation now into the life of Mark Bridger to discover how many more victims may lay at his door.

“The whole life tariff I suspect may be quashed by the Court of Appeal – particularly when you consider Ian Huntley who murdered two girls and David Bieber who executed one police officer and almost murdered two others are not serving whole life tariffs; Bieber who was initially given a whole life tariff had that was quashed by the Court of Appeal in 2006 and substituted for a sentence of 37 years.”

Worcester child killer anonymity lifted

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A man who killed three children he was babysitting and impaled them on garden railings has had his anonymity lifted.

David McGreavy, 62, was jailed for life in 1973 for the murders of four-year-old Paul Ralph and his sisters Dawn, two, and nine-month-old Samantha.

He killed them at their home in Gillam Street, Worcester, in April 1973.

In 2009 a judge imposed a ban on naming him during a hearing to protect him from other prisoners. The High Court has now overturned the ban.

In January, McGreavy made a request to be moved to an open prison and his lawyers had argued that would put his name back in the spotlight and his life at risk.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling and media organisations argued the application was legally flawed and wrongly prevented the public from knowing the full facts of the case.

McGreavy was lodging with the family at the house in Gillam Street when he carried out the killings.

‘Monster of Worcester’

Paul had been strangled, Dawn was found with her throat cut, and Samantha died from a compound fracture to the skull.

The killings earned McGreavy the nickname the “Monster of Worcester”.

The anonymity ruling was made in 2009 during a hearing when McGreavy unsuccessfully challenged a ruling that he must remain in Category C prison conditions.

On Wednesday, Guy Vassall-Adams, representing the justice secretary and the media organisations objecting to the ban on naming McGreavy, told the court: “The full facts are exceptionally horrific by even the standard of

“The order restricted the media to saying they were ‘three sadistic murders’ but that doesn’t even give you the half of it.”

Lord Justice Pitchford, sitting in London with Mr Justice Simon, ruled the anonymity order must be discharged.

The High Court heard David McGreavy had been in prison for 40 years, during which time he had been seriously assaulted in 1975 and 1996 by fellow prisoners.

His counsel Quincy Whitaker told the court naming him would put him in more danger from other prison inmates.

Ms Whitaker told the court McGreavy had previously spent two years in an open prison until “hostile media coverage” led to him being returned to closed conditions “for his own safety”.

The court heard McGreavy was first transferred to category D open conditions in 1994 but the transfer to Leyhill Prison in south Gloucestershire broke down after other inmates learned of his offence.

Ms Whitaker said the triple killings were “notorious” but no concerns had been subsequently raised about his behaviour.

Name change possibleThere were “more than reasonable grounds” for a fair parole hearing that could mean him being returned to open conditions, which was a pre-requisite for release from custody, she said.

The judge held out the possibility that in future McGreavy could be allowed a change of name to protect him.

He said McGreavy’s ninth parole review was under way and a hearing could be held later this year.

Since 2007 McGreavy has made a number of failed bids to win parole, the court heard.

The Worcester MP at that time, Mike Foster, called for McGreavy to never be allowed back to the city and described the murders as an “absolutely vile crime”.

McGreavy is currently living in closed conditions in a vulnerable prisoners’ unit

David McGreavy

  • April 1973 – Murders Paul, Dawn and Samantha Ralph
  • Jailed for life later that year
  • 1994 – Transferred to open prison (category D) then back to closed prison conditions (Category C)
  • 2007 – One of a number of bids for parole refused
  • 2009 – Told he must remain in under closed prison conditions and anonymity order granted
  • May 2013 – Anonymity order lifted with ninth parole review underway