March 2018

Claire, 12, was sexually assaulted and murdered before her body was thrown out of a window, now her killer wants his freedom

A killer who sexually assaulted and murdered a 12-year-old girl in his flat before trying to cover his tracks by throwing her body out of a window has launched a bid to be released from prison.

Raymond Varley, who indecently assaulted and murdered Claire McIntyre in his home in Beaumont Leys, Leicester, in March 1991, has been granted a parole hearing, Claire’s family has learned.

News of his attempt to win his freedom has brought fresh anguish for them.

They say the memories of Varley’s crime 27-years ago remain as fresh in their minds ‘as if it was yesterday’.

The-then 40-year-old lured Claire into his flat in Lomond Crescent by promising to give her a New Kids On The Block tape for her birthday.

Once inside, the father-of-three indecently assaulted and strangled the schoolgirl.

A judge later noted that Claire, described by her family as a bright and outgoing girl, appeared to have fought for her life.

The killer left his flat for a time and came back and wrapped Claire’s body in a quilt and pushed it out of his kitchen window.

He also placed a backdated note on his front door saying he was away from home for two weeks.

Claire, who lived just yards away in neighbouring Rannoch Close, lay undiscovered in undergrowth while her family and police searched for her.

After several hours, a search team found her and broke the news to the family.

In December 1991 at Nottingham Crown Court, Varley admitted indecently assaulting and murdering Claire.

He was jailed for life and told he would serve a minimum of 18 years.

Now, the Ministry of Justice has told the family Varley has been granted a parole hearing, although no date has been set.

The hearing will take place behind closed doors and will rule on whether or not he is suitable for release.

Claire’s father, David McIntyre, (64), her mother June Cartwright, (63) and older brother, 43-year-old Scott McIntyre have been told they can write personal statements, which will be sent to the parole board members.

Under current rules, the family will be notified of the outcome of the hearing but will not be given any detail of the reasons behind any conclusions it reaches.

They fear Varley – who also had convictions for threatening to kill his infant daughter, robbery and armed robbery – remains a danger to children.

Claire’s father said: “It’s as fresh in my mind now as it was the day it happened. It never goes away.

“All of us feel the same way about the possibility of this man being released.

“People who commit crimes like this against a child do not deserve to be released and we do not believe it would be safe to release this man.

“Myself, Claire’s mum and her brother will have an input because we have been asked to write impact statements for the parole hearing, whenever that takes place.

“We are hoping we can at least delay, if not permanently stop, him being released.”

Her mum said: “I carry around the memory of what he did every day. You never forget and you are never the same person again. It’s changed me completely.

“We did not go back to our house, we couldn’t face it because it was just yards from where Claire died.

“Obviously, I don’t want him to come out of prison, I just don’t believe it would be safe.”

Scott said: “I was 16 at the time and my memory of what he did to her is as fresh as if it was yesterday.

“But our brothers and sisters were younger, so their memories are very vague.

“By going to prison all he was losing was the chance to go to the pub when he wanted to, things like that.

“We lost a daughter and a sister.

“At the time he was sentenced we didn’t take any comfort from it. We never thought 18 years minimum was nearly enough.

“He’s been in prison for 27 years and that says to me that he has not been a model prisoner.

“We don’t know whether he has changed. It’s easy to be a ‘model prisoner’ when you want to be released.

“When he was sentenced, the judge told him that each of his crimes had been more and more violent.

“We believe he remains a risk to the public, particularly to children.”