Anonymity order lifted for triple child killer David McGreavy jailed in 1973

High Court judge lifts ruling on 'Monster of Worcester' who impaled victims on railings

A sadistic killer, who murdered three children he was babysitting before impaling them on railings, could be given a new identity if the parole board agrees to transfer him to an open prison.

The revelation came as the High Court lifted a ban on naming David McGreavy, 62, who was jailed for life in 1973 after strangling four-year-old Paul Urry, cutting the throat of his two-year-old sister Dawn and fracturing the skull of nine-month-old Samantha. 

Neighbours who remember the brutal killings in Worcester described how the police officers who discovered the children impaled on railings on the next door house were physically ill with shock.

“Lock him up and leave the key wherever,” said one former neighbour in Rainbow Hill, where feelings still run high.

The anonymity order, which named him only as M, was made earlier this year when McGreavy challenged a Parole Board refusal to transfer him to an open prison.

McGreavy was transferred to an open prison in 1994 but returned to a closed unit for his own safety after inmates learned of his identity.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling and media organisations argued that the anonymity order was legally flawed and wrongly prevented the public from knowing the details of the case.

“The full facts are exceptionally horrific by even the standard of murders,” said their counsel, Guy Vassall-Adams. The order restricted the media to saying they were “three sadistic murders - but that doesn't even give you the half of it”, said Mr Vassall-Adams.

Today Lord Justice Pitchford, agreed: “The importance of the principle of open justice at common law is so well known that it does not require further emphasis in this judgment.

”It is a cornerstone of the rule of law that public justice should be publicly reported unless the interests of justice otherwise require.“

McGreavy is currently being held in a closed vulnerable prisoners' unit and the judge said: ”In our judgment, there is at present no real and immediate risk to the claimant's life and safety because he is serving his sentence in conditions in which his safety can be closely monitored.“

But he is due before a ninth parole review later this year and the judge said that if there was a recommendation that he be returned to open conditions, the board would have to consider steps that could be taken to protect him - ”they might include a change of name“.

News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
people
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
people
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone