In October 2008, Rudy Guede was convicted of the murder of Meredith Kercher. He has just been released, although according to the Guardian, he had been given partial release three years ago and had been working in the library of a criminology centre, of all places.
Many convicted murderers are released, and although the families of victims tend to disagree, some deserve a second chance. It was almost inevitable that Guede would be parolled at some point, but for this particular murder, most people would probably agree his release is extremely premature.
Those with long memories will doubtless remember the case. Meredith Kercher, a student from Coulsdon, South London, was murdered in Perugia, Italy on November 1, 2007. Like American Amanda Knox and native Raffaele Sollecito, she had been studying at its world famous university. She was raped, and stabbed to death. The case was extremely controversial because Sollecito and especially Knox clearly lied to the police. Her false confession/allegation implicated Diya Patrick Lumumba, a local bar owner. Knox worked for him as a waitress.
Lumumba was arrested but had a cast iron alibi. In spite of his having fled the country, after he was extradited from Germany, Guede was tried first by a special fast track court with a total ban on reporting. His cock and ball story about being totally innocent was not believed. Knox and Sollecito were convicted but would eventually have their convictions overturned. The prosecution case was that all three had murdered Meredith in some kind of bizarre sex game. That claim may sound fanciful, but the evidence that the crime scene was staged is impressive. Full details can be found on the dedicated website. Read that before you listen to any of the pap churned out by the Knox PR team.
If the release of Rudy Guede is controversial, the release of Colin Pitchfork is insane. Guede is being given a second chance. How many chances has Pitchfork had? Well, in November 1983, he raped and murdered the fifteen year old Lynda Mann; in July 1986, he raped and murdered the fifteen year old Dawn Ashworth. He is known to have sexually assaulted at least two other victims, both aged sixteen, and, to cap it all, he stood by while the none too bright teenager Richard Buckland confessed to the second murder.
Pitchfork has a unique place in the history of crime because Alec Jeffreys was only just developing DNA profiling, something that is now considered routine. Buckland was cleared by this nascent science, and would surely have been convicted but for it. When he became aware of the new technology, Pitchfork went to great lengths to dupe an associate into giving a fake DNA sample, but fortunately was rumbled.
In an earlier era, Pitchfork would have surely been hanged, as it was, he could only be sentenced to life imprisonment; he was given a tariff of thirty years. A tariff is only a recommended minimum; surely no one in his right mind would have expected him ever to leave prison except in a wooden box. Sadly, that isn’t the case; Pitchfork has been granted Legal Aid to fight for his release, and as long ago as 2009, the Court Of Appeal remarked he had made “exceptional progress”. Read the judgment and decide for yourself if this exceptional progress warrants any sort of reward outside of the usual prison privileges.
Four years ago, Pitchfork was moved to an open prison, and in November 2017, he was actually photographed walking around Bristol unescorted, but after a hue and cry, he was refused parole. Last month, South Leicestershire MP Alberto Costa said he would raise the issue in Parliament, and did so.
In January 2018, the lunatics who run the Parole Board announced the imminent release of serial rapist John Worboys, but a high profile campaign put an end to that. While public pressure can sometimes resemble mob rule, there are times when the decisions taken by people in positions of power are so outrageous they must be challenged vociferously, Hopefully, Pitchfork will be returned to a high security prison, if he isn’t in one already, and after his next parole application is refused, the British public will hear no more of him.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.