Judges overturn order banning parole review

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The Independent Online
A girl sentenced to life for axing her great aunt to death has won the right to be considered for parole after six years in detention.

Donna Furber was 16 when she killed Edith Dent, apparently believing that removing the old woman from the family scene would enable her to achieve her life's ambition of becoming a model. She pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court in June 1991 to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The then Home Secretary Michael Howard ordered her to serve a minimum of seven years for "retribution and deterrence" before even being considered for parole, but yesterday two High Court judges held that this could not stand in the light of the recent House of Lords decision in favour of the juvenile killers of James Bulger. The Law Lords had ruled that the "minimum tariff" set by Mr Howard in the Bulger case was unlawful because it failed to take account of their youth and the legal requirement to consider the on-going welfare of juvenile offenders.

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