Wife killer denied prison release after refusing to reveal location of body

Glyn Razzell was convicted of the murder of his wife, Linda Razzell, 41, and sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 16 years, in 2003.

Ellie Ng
Tuesday 26 September 2023 16:23 BST
Wife killer Glyn Razzell has been denied release (Barry Batchelor/PA)
Wife killer Glyn Razzell has been denied release (Barry Batchelor/PA) (PA Wire)

A man found guilty of murdering his estranged wife has been denied release from prison after maintaining his innocence and refusing to reveal where her body is during a public parole hearing.

Glyn Razzell was convicted of the murder of his wife, Linda Razzell, 41, and sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 16 years, in 2003.

Mother-of-four Mrs Razzell disappeared on her way to work at Swindon College, Wiltshire, in March 2002 and no trace of her body has ever been found.

Razzell became the first prisoner to be refused parole under the so-called Helen’s Law in 2021 – which aims to make it harder for killers to get parole if they refuse to reveal where they hid their victim’s body – and the Parole Board considered the same law in his third and most recent review hearing in August.

The Prisoners (Disclosure of Information About Victims) Act 2020 was dubbed Helen’s Law after insurance clerk Helen McCourt, who vanished on her way home from work in 1988.

It places a statutory duty on Parole Board panels to consider the non-disclosure of information as part of its decision on whether to release prisoners.

The panel believed Razzell had information about where his wife’s remains were disposed of and took this into account in turning down his bid for release, according to a Parole Board decision summary.

It said: “Mr Razzell had not disclosed information because he continues to deny killing the victim, does not want to lose his desired status of being a ‘wrongly convicted murderer’ and he has been attempting ‘self-preservation’ to keep himself ‘psychologically intact’ by keeping control of the narrative.”

The panel said there was “ample evidence that Mr Razzell is capable of wholesale deceit (and) that his wilful and deliberate withholding of the relevant information indicates that he continues to be a risk”.

It also found that Razzell had done “little work” to address his assessed risk factors in nearly 22 years of imprisonment and that he “does not acknowledge” that he has any risk factors “despite overwhelming evidence”.

The panel was “not satisfied” that Razzell’s release would be safe and therefore refused it.

I didn’t kill Linda Razzell

Glyn Razzell

At his latest review hearing, Razzell, 64, conceded that his wife “must be dead”, whereas in the past he has chosen to suggest that she is still alive.

But he maintained that he did not kill her and the panel found his concession to be “half-hearted”.

He also denied any violence towards Mrs Razzell but the panel found that it was “more likely than not” that he had committed “abusive, threatening, and violent behaviour” towards her.

The panel found that Razzell had not done what had been recommended by the previous review of the Parole Board or by professionals in his case.

In its decision, the panel said his unwillingness to complete the work was “evidence at best, his potential for non-compliance, at worst, his false compliance and continued deceit”.

It added: “He has, it seems still ‘got something to hide’.”

The Parole Board hearing was held at the open prison where Razzell is serving his sentence with a livestream being relayed to a public gallery at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Asked three times whether he killed his wife, he told the Parole Board panel each time: “I didn’t kill Linda Razzell.”

Discussing his plans for the future if the panel decides he can be safely released, Razzell said he would try and locate his wife, saying: “I don’t know where she is and I would like to try and find out.”

Razzell said there is “absolutely no risk” of him being violent “in any way” in the present or future, and when asked if he feels guilt about the psychological harm caused to his children, he said: “I don’t feel guilt for it because it is not caused by me but I do feel their pain and their suffering and I carry that too.”

Razzell and his wife were embroiled in divorce proceedings when she went missing and his trial was told he faced a financial settlement he was not prepared to accept.

The court also heard that Mrs Razzell left her home in the village of Highworth, near Swindon, at 8.45am on March 19 with her children and boyfriend, Greg Worrall.

She dropped Mr Worrall off in Highworth and her children at school before being seen parking for work in Alvescot Road, as usual.

She is believed to have taken her usual route down an alleyway towards the college and her phone was found in a recess of the alleyway the next day during a police search.

Her boyfriend contacted police on the evening of her disappearance after she failed to pick up her children from their after-school club.

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