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Encyclopedia > Whole life tariff

The whole life tariff is a mechanism in British law whereby a prisoner is sentenced to remain in prison until death. It came into force in 1983 when the British Home Secretary began to set minimum terms that convicted killers had to serve before being considered for release on life licence. The intention of a whole life tariff was for a prisoner to spend the whole of his or her life behind bars without ever being released, although the prisoner could appeal to the High Court or even the European Court of Human Rights to have the tariff reduced. Early release could also be given in the event of good progress in prison or release on compassionate grounds, due to great age or infirmity. The gangster Reginald Kray had been given a whole life tariff but was released from custody in August 2000 as he was terminally ill with cancer and 67 years old. He died after just five weeks of freedom. 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Secretary of State for the Home Department, commonly known as the Home Secretary, is the minister in charge of the United Kingdom Home Office and is responsible for internal affairs in England and Wales, and for immigration and citizenship for the whole United Kingdom (including Scotland and Northern Ireland). ... Life licence is a term used in the British criminal justice system for the conditions under which a prisoner sentenced to life in jail may be released. ... Under British criminal law, a tariff is the minimum period that a person serving an indefinite prison sentence must serve before that person becomes eligible for parole. ... Her Majestys High Court of Justice (usually known more simply as the High Court) is, together with the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal, part of the Supreme Court of England and Wales: see Courts of England and Wales. ... European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), often referred to informally as the Strasbourg Court, was created to systematise the hearing of human rights complaints against States Parties to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted by... Ronald Kray (1933 - 1995) and Reginald Kray (1933 - 2000) were twin brothers, and the foremost organised crime leaders in London in the 1960s. ...


When life imprisonment gradually replaced the death penalty as punishment for murderers, many convicted murderers remained in prison until they died, as the average lifespan of the British population was between 60 and 70 years at this time. This happens less often nowadays, as most people are expected to live for at least 80 years and most convicted murderers are able to convince the parole board that they are no longer a danger to the public before they reach 80.


In November 2002, new human rights legislation and a Law Lords ruling stripped the Home Secretary of his powers to set tariffs and the minimum length of a life sentence is now set by the trial judge, although the Attorney General can still appeal to the High Court if he thinks that a sentence is unduly lenient, and the Lord Chief Justice can increase the sentence. The move followed a successful legal challenge by convicted double murderer Anthony Anderson, who was jailed for life in 1987 and was told by the trial judge that he should serve at least 15 years before being considered for parole. But the Home Secretary later increased this to 20 years. Anderson claimed that his human rights were being breached and the High Court and European Court of Human Rights both agreed. Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ... The House of Lords, in addition to having a legislative function, has a judicial function as a court of last resort within the United Kingdom. ... Her Majestys Attorney General for England and Wales, usually known as the Attorney General, is the chief legal adviser of the Crown in England and Wales. ... Anthony Anderson is a British murderer. ...


Since whole life tariffs were introduced, the law has stated that murderers aged under 21 years cannot be subjected to such a recommendation.


There are currently just over 20 life sentence prisoners in the UK who have been recommended for lifelong imprisonment.


Successive Conservative and Labour Home Secretaries set whole life sentences for the following convicted murderers (note, this list is incomplete): The Conservative Party (officially the Conservative & Unionist Party) is currently the second largest political party in the United Kingdom in terms of sitting Members of Parliament (MPs), and the largest in terms of public membership. ... The Labour Party has been, since its founding in the early 20th century, the principal political party of the left in the United Kingdom. ... The Secretary of State for the Home Department, commonly known as the Home Secretary, is the minister in charge of the United Kingdom Home Office and is responsible for internal affairs in England and Wales, and for immigration and citizenship for the whole United Kingdom (including Scotland and Northern Ireland). ...

Name Year Notes
John Straffen 1951/1952 Britain's longest serving prisoner who was convicted of murdering two pre-teen girls in 1951. The following year, he escaped for a four-hour period and murdered another girl during this short spell at large, although he has long proclaimed his innocence, and has had his case examined by justice campaigners who also believe his conviction is unsafe. Straffen was spared the death penalty due to learning difficulties, and has now spent more than 50 years in custody. He is in a mental hospital and highly unlikely to be freed. Since 2002, he has been the oldest prisoner known to be serving a whole life tariff, following the death of Archibald Hall.
Ian Brady 1966 One of the Moors Murderers, who was convicted of murdering two children, who were also tortured and abused, and then axeing to death a 17 year old youth in Greater Manchester. He got his nomenclature because he and accomplice Myra Hindley buried the two children in shallow graves on Saddleworth Moor. Two decades later, they admitted abducting and killing two more children, and Brady was taken back to the Moor to try to locate the graves, only one of which was found. Since 1985 he has been held in a mental hospital and although the November 2002 law lords' ruling means he could have been released by now (his tariff expired in October 2005), Brady has made it clear that he never wants to be released. He has been on long-term hunger strike in hospital, which has led to his being force-fed via a tube, and has had a book published on serial killing. The body of one of his victims, a 12 year old boy, remains undiscovered on the Moor, despite Brady and Hindley's own heavily-guarded efforts to locate the remains themselves. In 2006, Brady wrote to the missing child's mother to claim he remembered enough to be taken to within 20 yards of the grave but was not permitted to do so.
Myra Hindley 1966 The other of the Moors Murderers, Ian Brady's girlfriend and accomplice who was involved in all five murders with Brady, with two murder convictions and one as an accessory, as well as later admitting the murder of two more children later, only one of whom was subsequently found on the Moor. Hindley was given a 25-year minimum term by the trial judge, which was endorsed in 1982 by the Lord Chief Justice. Reports suggested that Hindley was rehabilitating in prison and had found religion and rejected Brady and her past, but nevertheless a strong sense of public feeling - plus the admission of the two further murders, one of which has yet to result in the discovery of a body - helped prompt her tariff to be increased to 30 years in 1988 and, finally, to a whole life tariff two years later. Hindley subsequently made three appeals against the whole life tariff and launched a further bid for freedom in 1996 when she had served 30 years, but all her efforts were rejected and she died in jail at the age of 60 in November 2002, less than two weeks before a law lords' ruling would probably have secured her freedom. Her case prompted more debate than that of any other prisoner of notoriety, with some high profile backing from the House of Lords, but vitriol from the Press and the public, as well as the families of her victims. Her death left only Rosemary West as a confirmed female prisoner serving a whole life tariff.
Donald Neilson 1976 The Black Panther, nicknamed as such because of his all-black clothing, he shot dead three postmasters during robberies in varying areas of the country, then got the publicity he craved by abducting a 17-year-old heiress from her Shropshire home. She was later found dead after several unfortunate coincidences and police bungles meant the ransom Neilson demanded couldn't get through. He also shot a security guard who died more than a year later from his injuries. The trial judge said that Neilson should only be released from prison due to great age or infirmity, and the Lord Chief Justice later set a 30-year minimum sentence. This was later increased to a whole life tariff by the Home Secretary. Under the November 2002 law lords' ruling, Neilson could be released from prison any time now if he can convince a parole board that he is no longer a danger to the public.
Archibald Hall 1978 The Killer Butler or Monster Butler, so named as he committed his murders while working in service to members of the British aristocracy as a butler. Hall, also known as Roy Fontaine, was a Glaswegian thief and confidence trickster with numerous convictions and prison sentences by the time he committed his first murder, of an ex-cellmate, whom he shot and buried after an argument over some jewellery stolen from Hall's employer. Hall moved to London and began serving an elderly ex-MP and his wife, and with accomplice Michael Kitto, he killed and buried them both after late-night plans to rob them were disturbed. They then killed a female acquaintance and dumped her body in a barn after she refused to destroy a fur coat which was potentially incriminating evidence, and lastly Hall murdered his half-brother, a convicted child molester who was asking too many questions, before beginning a journey to Scotland with the intention of again burying the body. Having stopped at a hotel for the night when the weather became too hazardous for driving, Hall and Kitto were caught when the hotelier, concerned that two suspicious-looking guests may not pay their bill, called the police. They found the body in Hall's car boot, and Hall later showed them the three gruesome burial sites. After trials in London and Edinburgh, Hall received four life sentences and Kitto three, with one judge recommending that Hall should never be freed. This recommendation was upheld when the list of confirmed whole life tariff prisoners was published, and Hall was the eldest prisoner on the list. He publicly requested the right to die in 1995, and did so of a stroke in 2002, while still in prison. He was 78. Three years earlier, he had published his autobiography.
Peter Sutcliffe 1981 The Yorkshire Ripper, who murdered 13 women and attacked seven others between 1975 and 1980 across West Yorkshire, plus two in Greater Manchester. He was caught by chance while sitting in his car with a prostitute and potential victim in Sheffield, and made a full confession to each attack to the police, even though they'd only arrested him for having false number plates. Pleaded guilty to manslaughter but was convicted of 13 murders and was originally sentenced to a minimum of 30 years by his trial judge, but was later given a whole life tariff by the government and is now in a high security mental hospital after being declared criminally insane. Following the November 2002 law lords' ruling, Sutcliffe could one day be released from custody - possibly in 2011 when he turns 65, if the parole board decides he no longer presents a risk to the public. Sutcliffe remains a hate figure within the Press, with much criticism of the Home Office in 2005 when it emerged he had been allowed to visit the site where his late father's ashes had been scattered.
Dennis Nilsen 1983 A homosexual ex-policeman who dismembered and murdered 13 men at his home in North London, storing the body parts inside and around the flat, and was arrested after workmen investigating a blocked and odorous drain found human flesh. Nilsen's trial judge originally recommended a 25-year minimum sentence, but successive Home Secretaries decided that he should never be released from prison. The November 2002 law lords' ruling means that Nilsen could still be released from prison as early as 2008, by which time he will be 63 years old, if the parole board decides he is no longer a danger to the public. Nilsen has since been denied the right to publish his autobiography and some music and poetry from prison.
Arthur Hutchinson 1984 A fugitive who gatecrashed a wedding reception at a house in Sheffield shortly after the bride and groom had left and stabbed to death the bride's father, mother and brother, before raping her sister at knifepoint. Police quickly labelled him as the killer after identifying a handprint on a champagne bottle and a bitemark in a piece of cheese. He was already on the run from answering a charge of violent rape and had previous convictions for offences of violence, indecent assault and dishonesty. Now a pensioner, his trial judge recommended an 18-year tariff which expired in 2002 but he remains in prison, although he could be released any time now if the parole board decides he is no longer a danger to the public.
Jeremy Bamber 1986 Shot dead his adoptive parents, sister and six year old twin nephews at the family farmhouse in Essex in order to claim a six-figure inheritance while also laying evidence to suggest his sister, a schizophrenic, had committed four murders before killing herself. His trial judge said in sentencing him that he found the idea of ever seeing Bamber free again "difficult to foresee", and advised that he should serve at least 25 years behind bars before release could even be considered. Bamber has nonetheless spent his sentence continuously protesting his innocence, asking for support via a website he runs from prison and seeking new evidence to launch fresh appeals. Support for his case is increasing, including backing from his MP. He is the only whole life tariff prisoner who has not accepted guilt or culpability and was also the youngest such prisoner when the original list was published. The law lords' ruling in November 2002 could see Bamber's original 25-year minimum term reinstated and he could be released as early as 2010.
Victor Miller 1988 A homosexual predator who abducted, sexually assaulted and battered to death a 14-year-old boy from Hagley in Worcestershire. He confessed after being arrested for an unrelated crime and led detectives to the body. Police later revealed they believed Miller was responsible for almost 30 unsolved sexual assaults. In court, he confessed openly to the killing and asked for the maximum sentence available. Although he was set a tariff of 25 years which was re-activated after the November 2002 law lords' ruling, meaning he could be considered for release in 2013, Miller has asked the Home Office not to consider him for release at any point in the future, and therefore actively wishes to die in prison. Miller's trial judge had also expressed doubt as to whether it would be safe for him ever to be released.
John Duffy 1988 The Railway Killer, who attacked numerous women in the south of England, raping all of them and murdering three, before revolutionary psychological profiling helped police to catch him, although they got no nearer the accomplice they knew Duffy worked with. He was given a 30 year tariff for two murders and seven rapes which, after the law lords' ruling, was re-activated, meaning that he could be considered for release in 2018. After 12 years in prison, Duffy went on a conscience-clearing exercise, admitting to a third killing of which he'd been originally acquitted, and implicating schoolfriend David Mulcahy as his accomplice. He also revealed his part in countless other rapes, for which he received a further 12 years. After Duffy gave evidence against him, Mulcahy was given life sentences for three murders and seven rapes in 2001 but was not subjected to a whole life tariff because of the timing of his case in relation with the review.
Victor Castigador 1990 A Filipino illegal immigrant who led a gang of robbers on a grudge attack at a London amusement arcade where he himself worked. Four members of staff were tied up, locked in a cage within the vault before being doused in white spirit and set alight. Two died, two suffered serious burns. Castigador received an initial 25 year tariff from his trial judge which was duly extended to a whole life tariff, but the November 2002 law lords' ruling means that he could still be released from prison as early as 2015 (by which time he will be 61 years old) if the parole board decides he is no longer a danger to the public. One of his teenage accomplices was given a 20 year tariff and unsuccessfully appealed for this to be shortened.
Colin Ireland 1993 The Gay Slayer, who set about achieving a New Year's resolution to become a serial killer by targeting patrons of a London pub known as a haunt for gay men to meet. Ireland pretended to be homosexual in order to be taken to each of his victims' homes, where he took advantage of their desire for S&M activity to truss, torture and murder them, often then robbing them to cover his travelling expenses as he was unemployed. He was able to continue as police found initial difficulty in linking the killings to one perpetrator, and was caught when, having visited police to explain away his sighting on closed-circuit TV with his final victim, his fingerprint was subsequently matched to one found at the man's flat. He confessed to the other murders while in custody and pleaded guilty to all charges in court. His original recommended tariff was never publicised.
Robert Black 1994 A pædophile who abducted, raped and killed three schoolgirls in the 1980s before dumping all three at roadsides hundreds of miles from their homes. He was already serving a life sentence for an attempted abduction when he was convicted of three murders (and one further abduction of a girl who survived) in 1994, and the trial judge recommended a minimum term of 35 years - which would make him ineligible for release until 2029 and the age of 82. He was later given a whole life tariff by the home secretary, although the November 2002 law lords' ruling means that he could still receive early release. Black has been long suspected of involvement in the disappearances of numerous other children in the 1970s and 1980s but questioning of him has proved inconclusive, no bodies have ever been found in these cases and the files remain open.
Rosemary West 1995 Convicted for the murder of ten women and girls at her home in Gloucester, including two of her own daughters. Her husband, Frederick West, committed suicide in jail before he could go on trial for a total of 12 murders. Police believe the Wests may have murdered as many as 30 people. West's trial judge (and the Lord Chief Justice), had originally recommended that she should serve a minimum of 25 years, which would have made her eligible for release in 2019 at the age of 66, but she was later given a whole life tariff. Following the November 2002 law lords' ruling, West could be released in 2019 if the parole board decides she no longer presents a risk. Hindley's death left West as the only confirmed female prisoner on the whole life tariff register, although there is considerable suspicion that Beverley Allitt is also on the list.
Harold Shipman 2000 Former GP who was convicted of killing 15 of his patients, all female, at his surgery in Hyde, Greater Manchester, in the 1990s, giving them lethal doses of morphine. Suspicion was raised when the daughter of his last victim found that Shipman had crudely forged her mother's will. Shipman was sentenced to life imprisonment, with the trial judge recommending that he should never be released, and two years later the Home Secretary agreed. An official inquiry in July 2002 concluded Shipman could have killed as many as 460 of his patients, making him Britain's worst serial killer. Shipman, who never accepted responsibility for his actions, hanged himself in his prison cell on 13th January 2004, the day before what would have been his 58th birthday, and the full extent of his crimes will probably be never known as a consequence.

John Straffen (born February 26, 1930 in Hampshire) is a British serial killer and in 2005 the longest serving prisoner in the UK. On 9 August 1951, Straffen was arrested for the murder of nine-year-old Cicely Batstone in Somerset. ... Moors murderer Ian Brady at the time of his arrest in October 1965. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Donald Neilson (born Donald Nappey on August 1, 1936, nicknamed the Black Panther) was a jobbing builder who turned to crime when his business failed to make money—and became a murderer, kidnapper and Britains most wanted man. ... Archibald Hall (a. ... Peter William Sutcliffe (born June 2, 1946), infamous as the Yorkshire Ripper, was convicted in 1981 of the murders of thirteen women in the north of England and attacks on seven more from 1975 to 1980. ... Dennis Nilsen Dennis Andrew Nilsen (born November 23, 1945) is a Scottish serial killer who lived in London. ... Arthur Hutchinson (born Hartlepool, County Durham, England, in 1941) is a notorious British murderer, serving life sentences for stabbing to death three members of the same family at their home following a wedding reception. ... Jeremy Bamber is one of the UKs most high-profile mass murderers, almost as much for remaining in the news on a regular basis since his conviction as for the shocking crimes he was convicted of carrying out. ... Victor Miller (born 1955) is a notorious British child killer currently serving a life sentence. ... John Duffy and David Mulcahy (both born 1959) are two notorious British rapists and murderers who together attacked numerous women at railway stations in the south of England through the 1980s. ... Victor Castigador (born Philippines, 1954) is a murderer who led an infamous grudge attack on an amusement arcade in London which burned two security guards to death and badly injured two other people. ... Colin Ireland (born March 16, 1954) is a British serial killer known as the Gay Slayer as he specifically targeted homosexual men as victims. ... There are two referenced people named Robert Black: Robert Black (lawyer) , Professor Emeritus of Scots Law at the University of Edinburgh Robert Black (murderer), Scottish serial killer and paedophile See also Bob Black, American anarchist and lawyer This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Harold Frederick Shipman (14 January 1946 – 13 January 2004) was a British general practitioner who was the most prolific known serial killer in British history. ...

The others

The other prisoners confirmed on the list are:

  • John Hilton, who committed two murders and was jailed in 1978, having previously served 16 years for another killing
  • Malcolm Green, who committed one murder and was jailed in 1991, having previously served 18 years for another killing

Speculation is rife as to the identities of the remaining prisoners handed whole life tariffs whose names the Home Office will not publicise, stating that the decision on whether each prisoner's tariff status should be made public lies solely with the prisoner and their legal representatives. They are believed to include some, many or all of the names below:

Name Year Notes
Harry Roberts 1966 Shot dead three policemen in London after he and two accomplices were stopped for a routine check as they planned a robbery from a stolen car, before going on the run for several months. He used his Army survival skills to live rough until he was finally surrounded by police, just before his accomplices were due to go on trial. He has never been publicly handed a whole-life tariff and is currently in an open prison. In December 2006 he was turned down for parole; his 40th year behind bars. His continued incarceration after his initial 30-year tariff expired has led to wide and predictable speculation that he was handed a whole life tariff but was one of the original nine criminals whose identity as such was never made public. His two accomplices are both now dead - one died in prison and one was murdered after his release in 1991. Roberts' crimes led to the inauguration of the Police Dependants' Trust.
Robert Mawdsley 1974 A rent boy originally jailed for murdering a customer in London, Mawdsley's decades of incarceration have largely been spent in solitary confinement after he and a fellow inmate held a man hostage in his cell in 1977, tortured and killed him, and then scalped him, with Mawdsley eating some of his brain. He was convicted of manslaughter and transferred, but murdered two more inmates to signify his distaste for his new institution and was immediately put into a confined cell, where he remains. He was largely unknown and unheralded as a criminal of notoriety until The Silence of the Lambs was released to cinemas, leading the British press to try to locate any prisoners supposedly similar to the Hannibal Lecter character. Of the prisoners only rumoured to be on the whole life tariff list, he is deemed the most likely to end his days in jail.
Patrick Mackay 1975 A Nazi-obsessed petty criminal in his youth who was diagnosed as psychopathic when aged just 15, Mackay was jailed for life after axeing to death a London priest who had befriended him and tried to help him. Mackay was also convicted of killing two elderly women in their homes, and was strongly suspected of several more similar killings, including that of a mother and child. Mackay himself boasted to police that he had murdered a total of eleven people, although only five murders got to court and ultimately two more were not pursued due to a lack of evidence. Mackay was the first known British murderer of note in the 1970s and his notoriety remained strong despite being usurped later in the decade by Donald Neilson and especially Peter Sutcliffe.
Mark Rowntree 1976 A schizophrenic teenager and Black Panther devotee whose depression after being spurned by a girlfriend prompted a frenzy of killings in West Yorkshire. He killed an elderly woman in her home, a teenage boy at a bus stop (who survived long enough to give a detailed description) and then stabbed to death a prostitute and her three year old son, all in the space of seven days. He was arrested immediately afterwards by police, using the description given to them by the teenage boy. Rowntree pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and was committed to a secure psychiatric unit, where he remains. He is alleged to have expressed regret that he hadn't reached five victims like his 'idol', Donald Neilson, although this was not publicised at the time for fear of prejudicing Neilson's forthcoming trial. The truth of this statement has always been open to question as, by the time of Rowntree's arrest, Neilson had been charged with four counts of murder, not five - his fifth victim would not die of his injuries for another two months. One or two unfounded conspiracies suggest that Rowntree was also responsible for the murder of a prostitute later attributed to the Yorkshire Ripper.
John Childs 1980 A gangster and contract killer who murdered six people in total over gangland-related issues between 1975 and 1978, using varying methods of killing including shooting, stabbing, strangling, axeing and bludgeoning with a lead pipe. Two of his victims were a father and son, after the father had unwittingly brought the ten year old boy with him to what turned out to be a trap. No bodies were ever recovered as Childs burnt them all in the fireplace at his home, with police able to prove this possible by filming the incineration of an 11-stone pig and showing it as evidence at Childs' trial. Two accomplices served 23 years before having their convictions quashed on appeal.
Bruce Lee (a.k.a. Peter Dinsdale) 1981 A teenage pyromaniac who set fire to numerous buildings and houses in Hull between 1973 and 1979, eleven of which resulted in a total of 26 deaths. Police only began to look for an arsonist after Lee's final attack on a house which led to the deaths of three young brothers. His arrest prompted a confession to the previous fires, none of which had been treated as arson at the time. Several children and elderly people whom Lee did not know had perished in the blazes, with only three of the fires started at the residences of people he knew and against whom he was bearing a grudge and seeking revenge. Lee pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and was sent to a secure psychiatric unit, but his crimes were not given great amounts of publicity as his day in court coincided with the trial of the Yorkshire Ripper within the same building. His conviction for a fire at a residential home for elderly men, which killed eleven of its residents, was later quashed due to prosecution doubts over its authenticity, though Lee maintained his guilt. In 2005 he was permitted to marry a fellow patient.
Kenneth Erskine 1988 The Stockwell Strangler, who robbed, sodomised and throttled seven pensioners in London after deciding to take a step up from a life of petty thefts and burglaries. Erskine was apprehended when he was questioned about a concealed bank account by social security investigators, and a routine fingerprint check matched with one found at a murder scene. He was charged when a survivor of one of his attacks picked him out in an identity parade. Erskine, a homeless drifter of severely limited intelligence, claimed he couldn't remember whether he killed any of his victims or not. He was given seven life sentences and the trial judge advised that he should not be released from prison for at least 40 years, by which time he would be 66.
Beverley Allitt 1993 A nurse who attacked nine children on the pædiatric ward of a hospital in Grantham, killing four and leaving others injured or permanently brain damaged. She was caught when a post-mortem on a baby showed up a drug never administered to young children, and police investigations showed that Allitt's name was on the staff roster at the time of every death and attack. She was later diagnosed with Munchausen by Proxy syndrome, a disorder which prompts sufferers to harm others in order to achieve attention for themselves. Research into her childhood revealed that she frequently invented illnesses and injuries in order to evoke sympathy and attention from people. She was given 13 life sentences and remains in a secure hospital, where it is understood she has continued to harm herself in order to gain attention. The judge at Allitt's trial recommended a minimum term of 40 years, which would see her kept behind bars until at least 2032 - by which time she will be 64 years old.
Peter Moore 1996 A businessman who went on the rampage after being refused a bank loan in 1995 and stabbed to death four men, entirely at random, in various areas of Wales. When he was arrested he claimed he was going to make his bank manager his next victim. His trial revealed that he had also tortured 50 other men over the previous two decades after being inspired by the killer in the Friday the 13th movie series from his time when he ran a cinema. Moore received four life sentences and conflicting reports make it unclear whether the Home Secretary later increased his sentence to a whole life tariff, although he is never seen on the official list.
Howard Hughes 1996 A pædophile who abducted, raped and murdered a seven-year-old girl in North Wales before throwing her body into the sea. It was washed up onto a beach the following day. There was no forensic evidence which suggested that Hughes was responsible for the crime, but one witness claimed to have seen Hughes lurking around in the area at the time of the murder, while another said that Hughes was actually carrying a child's body along a residential street. It later turned out that one of the witnesses was a convicted paedophile, while the other was a thief in the process of committing a robbery. Hughes's father claimed that he had confessed to the crime, but Hughes steadfastly denied this and accused his father of inventing the confession. In 1996, a year after the attack, Hughes was convicted of abduction, rape and murder. The judge sentenced him to life imprisonment, described him as a 'fiend' who would forever be a danger to children and advised that he should never be released. Hughes made two appeals to the High Court to have his convictions quashed, but both failed. He was later given a 50-year tariff by the Home Secretary, which meant that he would remain imprisoned until at least 2045 and the age of 80, but the system was quickly declared illegal by a High Court ruling and Hughes has yet to apply for a new minimum term to be set by the High Court.
Roy Whiting 2000 A pædophile who abducted, sexually abused and murdered a seven-year-old girl in Sussex before dumping her body in undergrowth. The case attracted considerable media interest due to the willingness of the girl's parents to step up a campaign for sex offenders' whereabouts to be made public as a warning to the families of young children - a UK equivalent of the American justice system's Megan's Law. Whiting's conviction for murder had allowed a previous offence of indecent assault on a young girl to be revealed to the court, and the two and a half years of a four year sentence he served before being released to kill was roundly castigated. Although the judge at his trial issued a verbal recommendation that Whiting should never be released, the Home Secretary later ruled that he should spent at least 50 years in prison - meaning that he would never be freed from prison until he was at least 92 years old. This was quickly declared illegal by the November 2002 law lords' ruling. His tariff is currently unfixed while Whiting goes through a legal process to have a new one set. The campaign to get a British version of Megan's Law has so far been unsuccessful. Whiting's appeal could see his tariff halved, but he would have to confess to his crime and prove that he was no longer a danger to the public to be considered for parole at any stage.

Harry Maurice Roberts (born 1936) is one of the UKs most notorious murderers and longest-serving prison inmates. ... The Police Dependants Trust is a body which looks after the interest and welfare of the families of British police officers who have died or been killed while on duty. ... Robert Mawdsley (born June 1953) is a British serial killer responsible for the murders of four people. ... The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 film directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins. ... Patrick Mackay (born September 25, 1952) is a serial killer who confessed to murdering eleven people in England in the early 1970s. ... Mark Rowntree was a British serial killer who was committed to a mental hospital after he admitted killing four people at random in the town of Bingley in Yorkshire. ... John Childs is a British murderer who killed six people between 1974 and 1978. ... Bruce George Peter Lee (born Peter Dinsdale in Manchester, July 1960) became one of Britain’s most prolific serial killers when he was convicted of 26 charges of manslaughter in 1981. ... Kenneth Erskine (born 1962) is an English serial killer who became known as the Stockwell Strangler. ... Beverley Allitt, dubbed the Angel of Death, was a nurse who was convicted of killing four children and injuring nine others on the ward she worked at Grantham Hospital, Lincolnshire. ... This article is about the self-inflicted factitious disorder. ... Peter Moore (born 1940) is a British serial killer who murdered four men in Wales in 1995. ... DVD cover for Friday the 13th (1980) Friday the 13th is a popular series of American slasher films. ... Howard Hughes (born 1965) is a convicted child murderer. ... Roy Whiting Roy Whiting was born in Horsham, West Sussex, on 26 January 1959. ... Megans Law is the term used to denote a number of state laws in the United States that require law enforcement authorities to identify what are generally called sex offenders to the public at large through various media, including in some cases the Internet. ...

Sentenced by judges

Since the European Court of Human Rights decision, only trial judges and the High Court have had the right to decide that a killer should never be released. In that time, there have been six instances of trial judges recommending that a killer should never be released. One of these killers has already appealed for the High Court to take a different view, but was unsuccessful.

Name Year Notes
David Bieber 2004 Former US marine who shot dead a policeman and injured two others in December 2003, after being stopped for driving a stolen car in Leeds. He was sentenced to life imprisonment almost a year later, and the trial judge recommended that he should never be released. This was the first time that such a recommendation had been made since the power of tariff-setting was moved from the hands of politicians to judges. If Bieber is ever released, the American government would seek his extradition to face charges in connection with a 1995 murder, although he could not face the death penalty due to extradition treaties. Bieber has since made an unsuccessful appeal against his convictions, but has been allowed to appeal for a lower minimum term to be set.
Mark Hobson 2005 Murdered his girlfriend, her twin sister and an elderly couple in Yorkshire before going on the run with the whole nation's police looking for him. He was eventually arrested after being spotted hiding in bushes near a motorway service station. Pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to life imprisonment with the judge advising that his life sentence should mean exactly that. Hobson later appealed for a lower tariff to be set on the grounds that he merited some credit for admitting to the crimes in order to avoid a trial, but this was rejected by the Lord Chief Justice.
Daniel Gonzalez 2006 A drug addict, inspired by horror films, who stabbed to death four randomly-chosen people (three of whom were pensioners) over a 24 hour period and tried to kill two more. His mother had previously begged for help from the authorities, chillingly (but rhetorically) asking in one letter if her son might "have to commit murder" before anyone would do something about him. He tried to escape conviction through reasons of insanity but was found guilty of murder and attempted murder and given six life sentences, with the judge advising that he should never be released from prison.
Viktor Dembovskis 2006 A Latvian citizen who raped and murdered a 17 year-old neighbour as she walked home from school in west London, before fleeing back to Latvia. Dembovskis was deported from Latvia after a joint operation by British and Latvian police. It was revealed that Dembovskis had a string of convictions in Latvia stretching back 25 years including two rapes in the 1990s. Due to his appalling record, the trial judge advised that Dembovskis should never be freed - a rare recommendation for someone guilty of a single murder.
John McGrady 2006 A convicted rapist who strangled and mutilated a 15 year old girl in London before dumping her dismembered remains in bin bags. He slit his wrists and confessed to his girlfriend after the attack, but his suicide bid was thwarted and he was successfully brought to justice. However, much was made in court of his refusal to co-operate with the police and other authorities, especially on the issue of how or why the teenager was in his flat at the outset, although police remain convinced she did not go willingly. The judge said that McGrady, who had previous convictions for raping and kidnapping women, was a highly dangerous predator and should never be released from prison. The victim's family later criticised heavily the nature of the media's distressingly over-descriptive reporting of the murder. McGrady has since lodged an appeal for a lower minimum term to be set.
Trevor Hamilton 2006 Raped and murdered a 65 year-old woman as she made her way home from mass in Strabane, Northern Ireland, having been released just four months earlier from a prison sentence imposed for another rape. Hamilton is the first person in Northern Ireland to receive a whole life tariff for a non-terrorist offence, and was claimed to be "one of the most closely monitored sex-offenders in Northern Ireland" at the time of the murder. Hamilton's trial judge told him he should never be released from prison, even though he was only 21 at the time of the murder, due to his lengthy record of violent offences. Much comment after the sentence was imposed focused on the automatic remission of half the sentence received by all non-life prisoners in Northern Ireland and the perceived inadequacy in probation service resources in the region.


A whole life tariff was imposed on all four members of the IRA's Balcombe Street gang in 1977, but they were all freed in 1999 as part of the Good Friday Agreement. Police released this photograph in the search for Bieber David Bieber (born 3 February 1966) also known under the alias Nathan Wayne Coleman is a American convicted murderer. ... Mark Hobson, born 1969, is a British murderer who killed his ex-girlfriend and her twin sister in 2004 before killing an elderly couple who lived nearby. ... Daniel Gonzalez (born 1980) is a spree killer who killed four people and injured two others during a three day killing spree across London and Sussex in September 2004. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Trevor Hamilton (born 1982), is a Northern Irish murderer. ... A Republican mural in Belfast depicting the hunger strikes of 1981. ... The Balcombe Street Siege was an incident involving members of the Provisional IRA (Irish Republican Army) and the London Metropolitan Police lasting from December 6 to December 12, 1975. ... The Belfast Agreement (also known as the Good Friday Agreement and, more rarely, as the Stormont Agreement) was signed in Belfast on April 10, 1998 by the British and Irish Governments and endorsed by most Northern Ireland political parties. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Tariff - LoveToKnow 1911 (6316 words)
The tariff history of France in the 19th century divides itself into three periods: one of complete prohibition, lasting till 1860; second, of liberal legislation, from 1860 to 1881; third, of reversion to protection after 1881.
The tariff history of Germany, up to the foundation of the German Empire, is the history of the Zollverein or German customs union; and this in turn is closely connected with the tariff history of Prussia.
Efforts were made also to reduce the tariff duties, but these naturally came last: they met with strong opposition, and in the end they were almost completely frustrated, thus leaving as the basis of the tariff the rates which had been levied in the course of the war.
life imprisonment: Information from Answers.com (3164 words)
In Denmark, a life sentence theoretically means until death and the prisoner is not eligible for parole, however he is entitled to a pardoning hearing after 12 years and upon motion of the minister of justice, the Danish Queen may grant a pardon, on condition of a 5 years probation.
In Finland, life imprisonment is a sentence of theoretically indeterminate length.
Life imprisonment often lasts until the prisoner dies, especially in cases where life imprisonment is imposed as alternative to the death penalty.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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