The European Court of Human Rights has ruled the whole life tariff given to Peter Moore, the man who murdered four gay men for his sexual gratification in 1995, breaches his human rights.
Moore is one of three killers who have won an appeal in the Court on the basis that their sentences amount to inhuman and degrading treatment.
The judges ruled by 16 to 1 on Tuesday that there had to be a possibility of release and review of the sentence in order for it to remain compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.
Reacting to the decision Prime Minister David Cameron said he “profoundly disagrees with the Court’s ruling”, and that he is a “strong supporter of whole life tariffs”.
The UK Government will now consider how it will respond to the ruling.
The appeal was brought by Douglas Vinter, who stabbed his wife in February 2008, and means the cases of Jeremy Bamber, who killed his parents, sister and her two young children in August 1985, and Peter Moore, 66, of Kinmel Bay, north-east Wales, will also be considered.
Moore was convicted of four counts of murder in 1996 for killing four gay men across a period of four months.
During his trial, Moore told the jury the crimes were committed by a gay lover he nicknamed “Jason” after the killer in the Friday the 13th horror films.
Moore was jailed for life for murdering Henry Roberts, 56, Edward Carthy, 28, Keith Randles, 49 and Anthony Davies, 40.
49 people in England and Wales are currently serving whole life tariffs.
This means they cannot be released other than at the discretion of the Justice Secretary.