Hindley to reject EU appeal on freedom ruling

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While the moors murderer Myra Hindley waited to learn her fate yesterday, her lawyers denied they would turn to the European Court of Human Rights if, as expected, Michael Howard decides that she will never be freed.

The lawyers were responding to reports that the Home Secretary will announce her fate next week, even though Hindley's legal team had been assured that no decision had yet been taken by Mr Howard and that the relevant papers were still with Ann Widdecombe, the prisons minister.

The Independent reported in December 1994 that a decision had been taken never to release Hindley. The result of her appeal to the Home Secretary against that decision is widely expected within days.

Yesterday, the Daily Mail reported that the decision had already been made and would precipitate a rush to the European courts. But Hindley's solicitors, London-based Taylor Nichol, said: "The representations against the whole [life] tariff submitted to Michael Howard were based entirely on the principles of English law. Any challenge to his decision will also be based on principles of English law.

There was a feeling among those who campaign for Hindley's freedom that the leak was politically motivated, to make Mr Howard appear tough on crime and on Europe.