A BOMBSHELL ruling banning British courts from giving our worst killers whole-life sentences was slammed as a “victory for evil”
European judges sparked fury by giving the green light to monsters such as Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe and Moors murderer Ian Brady to launch bids for freedom.
The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights backed three killers — including mass murderer Jeremy Bamber — who claimed being caged for life without review was “inhuman and degrading”.
It ruled “life means life” sentences were a breach of their human rights and said every lifer must have the “possibility” of both having their sentence reviewed and of being released.
The case against whole-life sentences was brought by Bamber, Peter Moore and Douglas Vinter.
Bamber, 52, was convicted of murdering his adoptive parents, sister and her twin six-year-old sons at a farmhouse in Tolleshunt D’Arcy, Essex, in 1985.
Moore, 66, was locked up for the murder of four gay men in 1995 for his sexual gratification.
Vinter, 43, was jailed for stabbing and strangling his wife in 2008 — just three years after he was freed from jail for killing a workmate.
A collection of 17 judges from countries including Andorra, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Serbia, Georgia and Latvia made the shock ruling in Strasbourg, France. They overturned an earlier decision by the main European Court of Human Rights which dismissed the three killers’ case
It opens the doors for Britain’s 49 “whole life” prisoners — including one who has never been identified — to seek reviews of their tariffs.
Jeremy Bamber’s lawyer Simon McKay hailed the decision.
He said: “A civilised society is defined by how it treats those who act outside its laws and that the UK will now be obligated to review whole-life tariffs is a progressive and humane development.”
As well as Sutcliffe and Brady, the fiends include Rose West, the wife of House of Horrors serial killer Fred West, Levi Bellfield, who murdered 13-year-old Milly Dowler and Mark Bridger, who murdered five-year-old April Jones. The judges said it was up to national authorities to decide when a sentence review takes place but it was suggested it should be no later than after 25 years.
Up until 2003, there was a right to review for all whole-life orders in the UK but this was removed in a change of legislation.
There was anger in Whitehall over the ruling — which came just days after Britain finally deported hate cleric Abu Qatada after a decade-long legal battle.
MOST EVIL: The UK’s 49 current “life means life” prisoners
Monsters … Jeremy Bamber, Peter Sutcliffe, Rose West, Levi Bellfield, Mark Bridger
Jeremy Bamber: Murdered parents, sister and her twin six-year-old sons at farmhouse in Essex in 1985
Peter Sutcliffe: Yorkshire Ripper killed 13 women and attacked seven more in Yorkshire and Manchester between 1975 and 1980
Rose West: Helped hubby Fred murder ten women and girls, including her daughter, in Gloucester
Levi Bellfield: Monster attacked three women, killing two, and teenager Milly Dowler in sexually motivated attacks
Mark Bridger: Got life in May for murdering April Jones, five, after snatching her in North Wales
From left … Ian Brady, John Duffy, Anthony Arkwright, Victor Miller
Ian Brady: Moors murderer, 75, killed five children with Myra Hindley and buried them on Saddleworth Moor in 1960s. Convicted in 1966
John Duffy: Railway killer, 54, raped scores of women in the South of England, murdering three, before being caged in 1988.
Anthony Arkwright: Hacked three people to death including his grandad during a two-day spree in Yorkshire in August 1988. Now aged 44.
Victor Miller: Sexually assaulted and battered to death a boy, 14, from Hagley, Worcs, in 1988. Blamed for 30 other attacks. Aged 55.
From left … Dale Cregan, Peter Moore, Robert Maudsley, Paul Glen
Dale Cregan: Murdered four people, including two woman cops, using guns and grenades in Manchester. Cregan, 30, jailed last month.
Peter Moore: Confessed to killing four men in Wales in 1995, but claimed at trial fictional lover “Jason” had carried out attacks. Now 65.
Robert Maudsley: “Hannibal the Cannibal”, 60, killed three while in prison for another murder in the 1970s.
Paul Glen: Professional hitman, 39, killed a friend of his intended victim in 2004. Had a previous conviction for murder.
Killers … Anthony Entwistle, Dennis Nilsen, John McGrady, Robert Black
Anthony Entwistle: Killed girl of 16 in Blackburn in 1987, weeks after being released from prison for sexually assaulting two women. Now 63.
Dennis Nilsen: Ex-policeman, 67, dismembered 15 men and stored the body parts in and around his home in North London. Caged 1983.
John McGrady: Jailed in 2006 for strangling and mutilating a 15-year-old girl in London before dumping her remains in bin bags. Now 54.
Robert Black: Paedophile, 66, raped and killed three schoolgirls in the 1980s before dumping their bodies hundreds of miles away.
Whole-life terms … Arthur Hutchinson, Rahan Arshad, Peter Tobin, Steve Wright
Arthur Hutchinson: Crashed a wedding in Sheffield, killing the bride’s father, mother and brother, and raping her sister at knifepoint. Now 71.
Rahan Arshad: The 42-year-old murdered his wife and three children in their home in Cheadle Hulme, Greater Manchester, in 2006.
Peter Tobin: Killed a woman in a Glasgow church in 2006. Remains of two victims from 1991 were found in his garden in Kent. Now 66.
Steve Wright: Suffolk Strangler, 55, murdered five prostitutes in Ipswich in 2006. Found guilty on all counts in February 2008.
Evil … Douglas Vinter, Victor Castigador, Stephen Griffiths, Anthony Hardy
Douglas Vinter: Stabbed and strangled wife in 2008, three years after serving nine years for murdering a work colleague. Now aged 43.
Victor Castigador: Filipino illegal immigrant, 58, killed two guards at a London amusement arcade by setting them on fire in 1989.
Stephen Griffiths: “Crossbow Cannibal” , 43, convicted in 2010 of killing three women in Bradford, with one involving a crossbow.
Anthony Hardy: Camden Ripper, 62, killed three women in London to “satisfy his depraved and perverted needs”. Given full life tariff in 2010
Murderers … Viktor Dembovskis and Phillip Heggarty
Viktor Dembovskis: Raped and murdered a 17-year-old girl in London before fleeing to Latvia. Had served 20 years for rape abroad. Now 49.
Phillip Heggarty: The 57-year-old was convicted in 2004 for murdering his best friend with a hammer and then burning the body in a car.
From left … John Childs, Marc Chivers, Royston Jackson
John Childs: Hitman John Childs, 73, murdered and burned six people in London between 1974 and 1978. Locked up in 1980.
Marc Chivers: Chivers, 46, strangled ex-lover Maria Stubbings with a dog lead in 2008 — just a year after his release for killing another ex.
Royston Jackson: The 46-year-old strangled pervert Gordon Boon in October 2008 — two years after he was let out on licence for a 1989 murder.
From left … Ernest Wright, John Maden, Wilbert Dyce
Ernest Wright: Executed Neville Corby with a shotgun and tried to kill Corby’s partner. Had previous murder conviction in 1971. Now 71.
John Maden: Drugged raped and killed his niece, 12, after luring her to his Manchester home on the pretext of babysitting. Now aged 40.
Wilbert Dyce: Now 57, was convicted of the 1982 murders of a mum, 27, and her two daughters, seven and nine, in London.
From left … John Sweeney, George Johnson, John Cooper
John Sweeney: Murdered two exes and dumped their mutilated bodies in canals in London and the Netherlands. Now aged 56.
George Johnson: Killed an 89-year-old woman in Rhyl, Wales, to fund his drug habit — the 49-year-old’s second murder conviction.
John Cooper: Cooper, now 68, killed a brother and sister in 1985 and a husband and wife in 1989, all in Pembrokeshire, West Wales
From left … Andrew Dawson, David Baxendale, David Cook
Andrew Dawson: Killed his neighbours in Derby in 2010 while on licence from a previous murder conviction in the 1980s. Now aged 50.
David Baxendale: Stabbed a woman to death in Nutfield, Surrey, in June 2010. Previously convicted of a murder in Spain in 2001. Now 42.
David Cook: Killed a Sunday school teacher in 1988. Strangled a second victim while he was on parole in 2011. Now aged 66
From left … Stephen Farrow, Thomas McDowell, Mark Martin, Mark Hobson
Stephen Farrow: A Vagrant, 48, with a history of psychiatric illness. Murdered a retired teacher and a vicar in Bewdley, Worcs. Jailed in 2012.
Thomas McDowell: Psychopath, 36, strangled and cut up a gay trainee rabbi with a ripsaw and dumped body parts in Camden, London.
Mark Martin: The Sneinton Strangler, 32. Killed three homeless women and said he wanted to be “Nottingham’s first serial killer”.
Mark Hobson: Binman, 43, killed his girlfriend, her twin sister and an elderly couple in Yorkshire before going on the run. Jailed in 2005
From left … William Horncy, Kenneth Regan, Glyn Dix
William Horncy: Murdered millionaire Amarjit Chohan’s family in a bid to take over their freight firm to ship drugs into the UK. Now aged 58.
Kenneth Regan: Also guilty of the murders of millionaire Amarjit Chohan’s family. The bodies of Chohan’s two sons were never found. Age 59.
Glyn Dix: Hacked wife Hazel into 16 pieces at their home in Redditch, Worcs, in 2004 while on licence after a 1979 murder. Age 55.
Jailed … David Tiley and Michael Smith
David Tiley: Stabbed his disabled fiancée Susan Hale – two months after he was released from prison for rape. Jailed 2006. Now 53.
Michael Smith: The 60-year-old killed his victim with a bottle in Stafford after already serving time in prison for an earlier murder