Triple murderer Arthur Hutchinson mounts in first whole-life tariff appeal

Murderer told he would spend life behind bars has become the first Briton to appeal against tariff in European court

A triple murderer has become the first UK citizen to mount a legal challenge against his ‘life means life’ tariff after a controversial ruling from European judges that it breaches human rights.

Arthur Hutchinson is serving a “whole life” sentence for stabbing a wealthy couple to death after breaking into their home on the night of their daughter’s wedding, before killing one of their sons and repeatedly raping another wedding guest.

He has launched an appeal over his sentence to the European Court of Human Rights after the Strasbourg court ruled last month that such sentences are “inhuman and degrading”.

The case was able to be brought after three killers, including Jeremy Bamber who shot dead five members of his family appealed against the tariffs.

Hustchinson, 73, is one of 49 prisoners in British prisons serving whole life tariffs.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said, “I have repeatedly made clear how profoundly I disagree with the recent ruling by the European Court.

”Our judges should be able to tell those who commit the most heinous crimes imaginable that they may never be released.

“To be told this breaches human rights is absurd - and an insult to those who wrote the original Human Rights Convention. What about the rights of the victims and their families?

”I continue to strongly believe that whole life tariffs are appropriate for the worst murder cases. This is why I want wholesale reforms to our human rights laws.“

Strasbourg judges proposed that prisoners serving life with no possibility of parole should have their cases reviewed after 25 year, after which time they could be freed.

The government has been asked give a full response to Hutchinson’s claim, which could lead to a full trial next year, the Daily Telegraph reports.

If judges rule in his favour, Hutchinson, originally from Hartlepool, could walk free from prison.

Five years ago, he had a domestic appeal against whole life tariffs rejected by the Court of Appeal. Mr Justice Tugendhat ruled that there was “no reason at all” to depart from the whole life tariff.

He said, “These were exceptionally serious murders, and it is right that the applicant should remain in prison for the rest of his life by way of punishment.”

The judge at Hutchinson’s original 1984 trial at Sheffield Crown Court ruled that he should serve 18 years but then home secretary Leon Brittan later ruled he should face the whole life tariff.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This publishing company based i...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor