Evil killer Colin Pitchfork freed from jail after raping and murdering two girls

Evil Colin Pitchfork – who raped and killed two schoolgirls in the 1980s – has been released from prison.

The murderer, now in his early 60s, was the first to be convicted using DNA evidence after his attacks on Lynda Mann and Dawn Ashworth, both 15.

Earlier this year, the Parole Board said it was satisfied Pitchfork – who became eligible for release in 2015 – was safe to walk free after a 33-year term inside.

And he has now been let out of HMP Leyhill in Gloucestershire – with a strict set of licence conditions.

It is understood that he will have to wear an electronic tag, face restrictions on using the internet and is banned from going near relatives of his victims.

The Ministry of Justice said: “Public safety is our top priority, which is why he will be subject to some of the strictest licence conditions ever set and remain under supervision for the rest of his life.

“If he breaches these conditions, he faces an immediate return to prison.”

Lynda Mann’s body was found on a deserted footpath in Leicestershire on November 22, 1983.

Pitchfork, a convicted flasher, left his baby son asleep in a car before killing her – and admitted to police he attacked her simply because “she was there”.

Three years later, on August 2, 1986, Dawn Ashworth’s body was found in a wooded area near a footpath called Ten Pound Lane in the same county.

She had been beaten, savagely raped and strangled.

DNA profiling confirmed the girls had been killed by the same man and in 1987, one of Pitchfork’s colleagues revealed to fellow workers that he had taken a blood test while masquerading as Pitchfork who had told him he wanted to avoid being harassed by police because of prior convictions for indecent exposure.

A woman reported it to police and he was later arrested and jailed for life with a minimum term of 30 years in the first conviction using DNA evidence.

But his minimum term was cut by two years in 2009, he was moved to an open prison three years ago – before his release on Wednesday.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland branded the decision to release the killer as irrational when it was announced, but officials rejected a last-ditch appeal.

Pitchfork has been using the name David Thorpe for several years but plans to further mask his true identity and past by getting another name change, the Mirror exclusively revealed last month.

He is perfectly entitled to swap his identity again by deed poll – and it would cost him just £33.

And Pitchfork has also been released without being monitored on the sex offender register.

Under a legal loophole, the strict monitoring conditions cannot be imposed on anyone convicted of sex crimes before 1997.

Ex-Tory leader Michael Howard, who created the sex offender register while he was Home Secretary, said it would be very ­difficult in law to add Pitchfork retrospectively.

But he said: “I have every sympathy with the families of the victims. I agree with the Justice Secretary that he should never have been given parole.”

Speaking before Pitchfork’s release, Barbara Ashworth, the mother of second victim Dawn, told the MailOnline: “It’s a day I knew was coming and I’ve had to resign myself to, but I just hope that no other girl meets the same fate.”

And her brother, Philip Musson added: “I’m not an advocate for the death penalty but there are some crimes so great that that punishment should be carried out, and Pitchfork’s fit that category.

“I consider the decision to release him an experiment, and I only pray that the people living in the area where he is resettled do not pay the price.”

Former Det Chief Supt David Baker said previously that he suspects Pitchfork has fooled the Parole Board into believing he is no longer a danger.

Mr Baker – the man who caught the murderer – said: “I firmly believe he should remain in jail and never be released.

“There’s every possibility that he has pulled the wool over the eyes of the Parole Board.”

The government launched a legal challenge when the Parole Board’s initial decision was announced – but this was denied.

In reaching his decision to release Pitchfork, HH Michael Topolski QC – who noted the original panel was “highly experienced” comprising two judges and a psychologist said: “This was and remains a case of considerable seriousness, complexity and notoriety. The terrible consequences of the brutal rapes and murders of two innocent girls will forever darken the lives of the families concerned.

“A highly experienced and expert panel comprising of two judicial and one psychologist member had in essence two questions to decide. First, did the Respondent need to remain in prison to complete any further offending work and secondly, could his risk be safely managed in the community?

“For the reasons I have given, I do not consider that the decision was irrational and accordingly, with my thanks to the parties for their submissions, the application for reconsideration is refused.”