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Spending the Spending the rest of your life rest of your life behind bars doesn't breach human rights; TOP EUROPEAN JUDGE'S MESSAGE TO KILLERS...

Byline: DARREN DEVINE Daily Post Correspondent welshnews@dailypost.co.uk

EUROPEAN judges have ruled whole-life sentences for Britain's most notorious killers are compatible with European law and do not breach their human rights.

The ruling affects infamous Welsh killers serving whole-life terms, including Peter Moore, John Cooper and Malcolm Green.

It could also ensure April Jones' killer Mark Bridger remains behind bars for life.

In a previous judgement in July 2013 the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) had ruled UK domestic law was unclear on whether those serving whole-life terms can be released.

It has previously said denying whole-lifers any hope of release was a breach of their human rights.

But in February of last year the Court of Appeal in the UK made clear prisoners serving wholelife terms could be released in cases where there are "exceptional grounds".

The Court of Appeal underlined the power given to the secretary of state to release a prisoner on licence if he is satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist which justify the prisoner's release on compassionate grounds.

The ECHR said the Court of Appeal's clarification meant UK law is compatible with the European human rights laws.

The latest case to go before the European Court over whole-life terms involved triple killer Arthur Hutchinson.

Hutchinson was jailed in 1984 for stabbing wealthy couple Basil and Avril Laitner to death after breaking into their Shef-Shef field home on the night of their daughter's wedding, then killing one of their sons.

He alleged under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights his sentence amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment as he had no hope of release.

But the European judges ruled it did not violate Article 3. Bridger kidnapped five-yearold April in Machynlleth before murdering her and disposing of her body in October 2012.

Green was given a life sentence in 1991 for the "Body in the Bags" killing - just two years after being released from another life term for the murder of a Cardiff prostitute.

The double killer, from Ely, Cardiff, was given a whole-life sentence for the murder of New Zealander Clive Tully - whose torso, head and limbs were found in bags.

North Wales cinema owner Moore butchered Henry Roberts, Edward Carthy, Keith Randles and Tony Davies to satisfy his perverted sexual urges.

The judge recommended Moore was among the most dangerous category of killers who should never be let out.

Cooper was convicted of the murder of brother and sister Richard and Helen Thomas, and Oxfordshire couple Peter and Gwenda Dixon more than two Get the latest North Wales news at www.dailypost.wales decades after the offences.

He shot the Thomases in 1985 at their mansion near Milford Haven. Three and a half years later in 1989, the Dixons were shot while taking a walk along the Pembrokeshire coastal path near Little Haven.

In March 1996, he used a shotgun and knife to attack a group of teenagers, raping a 16-yearold girl and indecently assaulting a 15-year-old.

Beyond Wales those serving whole-life sentences includes some of the UK's most notorious killers.

Among them are Moors murderer Ian Brady, Dale Cregan - jailed for the murders of four people including policewomen Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone - Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe and Britain's only living female whole-lifer Rose West.

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Killers Peter Moore |(main), Mark Bridger (left) and Ian Brady
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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 4, 2015
Words:559
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