Law Lord revives row over life for Hindley
Wednesday 17 January 1996
Home Affairs Correspondent
One of Britain's most authoritative legal figures yesterday questioned the legality of keeping Myra Hindley in prison until she dies.
Lord Donaldson, the former Master of the Rolls, said that to allow public opinion to influence prisoners' "tariffs" (the amount of time they serve) came "perilously close to lynch law". He questioned whether the Home Secretary had the right to tie the hands of a successor by deciding a life- sentence prisoner ought never to be released.
He said: "I can well understand him saying that a particular prisoner should not be released now, but I don't see how he can say that he or she should never be released."
Although Lord Donaldson denied he was supporting Hindley, the Moors murderer, his comments will inevitably be seized on by her supporters. Herinitial recommended minimum sentence was set by the trial judge at 20 years, which she has now served.
Lord Donaldson said: "My concern is that the Home Secretary should act within his powers. In other words, I am concerned with the rule of law, whether it affects prisoners or anybody else." He also queried the rights of Home Secretaries to move tariffs ever upwards.
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
- 4 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
Lucy Hawking: Stephen Hawking's daughter writes impassioned open letter to Katie Hopkins about rights of disabled people
Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
How the language you speak changes your view of the world
General election live: Russell Brand endorses Labour (except in Scotland and Brighton)
Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...
£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...