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UK: Murderer of 4 gay men told life sentence breaches his human rights

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  1. For once I’m feeling decidedly anti-EU. If they want him out then they can take him and he can be barred from entering the UK. See how keen they are then.

    1. bobbleobble 9 Jul 2013, 2:05pm

      This is the European Convention on Human Rights which is separate from the EU. They also haven’t said that they want him out. All they have said is that banging someone up in prison for life without any chance of parole and no review of the siuation is wrong.

      The judges have simply said that a periodic review of the sentence is required and I cannot see the problem with that.

      1. Ken Lewis 9 Jul 2013, 2:19pm

        what gobble he has no human rights he is a dog. we used to hang these ?????

        1. Then we became more civilised.

        2. nixiotemba 9 Jul 2013, 4:21pm

          they used to hang us too, remember?

      2. bobbleobble

        Somebody who has actually bothered to investigate and read about facts. That’s very refreshing, many people react before they bother to inform themselves on stories.

      3. GulliverUK 9 Jul 2013, 3:53pm

        I agree bobbleobble, there must always be periodic reviews. But there should also be a minimum sentence – meaning life prisoners should not be eligible for parole hearings until they’ve served, say, 30 years.

        I’m not sure if that means he should have 4 life sentences, i.e. 120 years before a parole hearing, or 4 life sentences running concurrently, still 30 years. Murder, prison, and sentencing aren’t something I spend any time thinking about.

      4. Bobbleobble…….Why should a periodic review of the sentence be required. The nature of the crime will not change, so why should the sentence?

        1. GulliverUK 9 Jul 2013, 5:34pm

          The details of the crime never change, but the nature of the person changes over time. We all change over time.

          My views are constantly evolving on all sorts of issues. Put me down the moment I am no longer able to assimilate, process and have new opinions and feelings based on new information, views, etc. As I said a minimum number of years should be served before any consideration of parole, and then there should be periodic reviews to see if the individual has a chance to return to society. If they haven’t changed then they will never return to society.

          Why shouldn’t they have an opportunity to change themselves, rehabilitate their past life, and have the opportunity to return to society? You are saying they shouldn’t, and you should make the case. Saying the details of the crime don’t change is deflection and has no credibility. You have to make a better, logical, reasoned case.

      5. Yeah, I have to agree… the bar for him to be considered rehabilitated and no longer a danger to society must be set extremely, extremely high, so that it’s as absolutely certain as possible that he’s no longer a danger… but if there’s even the slimmest of chances that this vile man could absolutely turn his life around and become at least a decent enough human being that he would never even consider repeating his crimes… then merely on principle there must be the possibility of parole, even if it would be almost impossible for him to be granted it.

        The criminal justice system is still a bit too imbalanced in favour of punishment/revenge than actually trying to rehabilitate those who are willing to change their ways, and society suffers as a result, as criminals just become more and more hardened, outcast, and resentful. “You are fully welcome back into society if you work hard to regain our trust” must always be the message we give our prisoners.

    2. They don’t want him out. They want him to have access to a review of his sentence. Nobody has said he should be released. This headline is tabloid rubbish.

      This case isn’t about one man either.

      Also as others have pointed out the EU has nothing to do with this.

    3. this issue apart, you hopefully will sort out the difference between EU, ECHR, and Europe as a geographical entity in your own good time. Try wikipedia. Please – it is important for your country that when and if you vote about issues, that the actual rather than assumed information is used.

      My take on law courts is that even if some cases seem to allow odd outcomes, it is important that rule of law is above monarchy or parliament.

      1. Spanner1960 13 Jul 2013, 10:52am

        As far as I am concerned, we should leave both the EU and the EHCR.
        The EU, for its tyrannical control over this countries law, and the farcical business over the expulsion of Abu Quatada should be enough to show why we do not need other courts to tell us what to do with our prisoners.

        1. The ECHR is OUR court, we helped set it up. It helped many gay cases through the grim Thatcher years and is a protection for all Europeans against dictatorship and injustice.

    4. This pertains to the Council of Europe, not the European Union. The UCHR is binding to all members of the CoE. All countries with European territory (except for Belarus, Kazakhstan and Vatican City) are members of the CoE, as are Armenia and Georgia.

    5. What a shame so much ignorance is shown on here toward the EU. So much so that the people are so ignorant they don’t even know what the EU is.

      This ruling has as much to do with the EU as it has to do with the Kremlin. That is nothing. You have really just embarrassed yourself Bruno.

  2. And what about his victims Human Rights?

    1. What a boring response. His victim was brutally murdered… it’s terrible that their human rights were flushed away like that by a horrible man – so the answer is for the state itself to stop caring about human rights?

      How does that make sense?

      1. What a stupid response from you. The State is still responsible for the Human Rights of the victim posthumously and for the Human Rights of decent , law abiding citizens in society ,which are best served by the appropriate sentencing to fit the crime not alternating sentencing according to character reports.

      2. And you think your response is great? You think a man who killed 4 people desrves his human rights to be considered, but you think the human rights of his victims are boring?

        How does that make sense?

        1. It makes sense because no matter how vile this person or his actions may have been, he is ultimately still human. The very point of human rights is that they are applicable to all humans. This man violated four other people’s human rights, and is just to give him a degree of correction – but the state is also required to respect people’s human rights, and that obligation does not go away simply because some people wantonly violate the rights of others.

          Let me put it more simply: Human rights are applicable to all humans, or they are not human rights. All or nobody.

          1. Spanner1960 13 Jul 2013, 10:56am

            Actually, I would disagree.
            The man is most certainly inhuman, and what many would describe as an animal.

            Rights are something you gain as part of a society. If you choose to opt out from that society, you forgo those rights. He is lucky they banged him up, had I had my way he would have had a long drop on a short rope.

        2. de Villiers 10 Jul 2013, 8:45am

          That is a bit stupid Dermot. It means that if someone does not have those rights then they cannot be human. Given that these rights exist only in Europe and not necessarily in other democracies, by your own axiom those people cannot be human.

          1. It’s not stupid. It means if someone doesn’t recognise human rights as applying to all people, then *that person* doesn’t think all people are human. It shows up *their* lack of logic, not the defenders’ of human rights lack of it.

            Just because other countries don’t always recognise their own citizens’ human rights doesn’t mean that the rest of us don’t either.

  3. Jock S. Trap 9 Jul 2013, 2:03pm

    It’s such a shame that the victim haven’t been considered or their families who have to live a life sentence in grief, yet, yet again, the Human Rights goes to the criminal.

    It needs to change.

    We need a Human Rights Law that protects those it’s supposed to and not constantly abused by criminals.

    I don’t agree with the death penalty, I believe criminals should live with their crimes with reduced freedoms and rights but I think this in this case the EU is Very, Very wrong!

    1. bobbleobble 9 Jul 2013, 2:12pm

      Human rights law is there to protect everyone including criminals. It is people who are at the mercy of the state who most require their protection from that state and that includes those who are incarcerated.

      They have reduced rights and freedoms, all of these guys are in prison and are not likely to get out any time soon. The Court has simply said that locking someone up and throwing away the key is not allowed.

    2. What difference will it make to the victims’ families? If he’s ever released it’ll only be in the unlikely and very long-term event that he’s deemed fit for it. What “rights” can be given to the family here? Is having someone else held in prison indefinitely a right any of us are entitled to? Should that be listed in the convention?

      Human rights laws protect all of us. Murderers, rapists and other perpetrators of appalling crimes are all human beings. If they don’t have their rights looked at too then what we’re talking about aren’t human rights are they? Committing atrocities doesn’t mean that all their rights are automatically forever forfeited. Restricted as far and long as necessary, I can completely agree with, and in Moore’s case likely a very long time to come.

      Don’t get me wrong, there are some sentences handed down for certain offences which are total jokes (endless sexual and violent crimes, death by dangerous driving etc.). But these are seldom due to Human Rights law.

      1. Colin (London) 9 Jul 2013, 3:05pm

        When they murdered another human being they gave up any human rights or privileges of living in our free society.

        They are different and to me should be treated as such.. Actions have consequences. These are not accidental deaths.

        1. Doesn’t that mean that either (a) you think he’s not a human being, or (b) you don’t believe that human rights are actually human rights since they don’t apply to all humans?

          You say he gave up any rights and privileges, but rights and privileges are two very separate things. A right by definition is an entitlement that can only be denied if it conflicts with another right. A privilege by definition is something you are not entitled to. In this case, his right to freedom is outweighed by other’s right to security, but his right to humane treatment means that his sentence should be periodically reviewed so that if he ever stops being a threat then it’s conceivable he’ll one day be released.

          His actions have had consequences. He is behind bars, where I hope he will remain unless fit to leave.

          1. Colin (London) 9 Jul 2013, 5:38pm

            To me wilfully taking someones life has consequences above rights and I hope society is never so soft as to even consider that he has any remaining rights.

            Spend UK’s money on deserving people.

            You and I simply see this differently.

          2. No Colin, you just don’t understand what ‘Human Rights’ are

          3. Jock S. Trap 10 Jul 2013, 11:25am

            So what about the Human Rights of the victim?

            Do they not matter because they’re dead? They didn’t choose to be killed.

            Why should the murderers Human Rights suddenly be respected and not the victim?

            It’s ridiculous. We stopped the death penalty because we know we were better people. Quite frankly I thought the death penalty was the easy way out. They should live with their crimes and the consequences of it.

            49 people in the UK have Whole Life Sentences for one reason and one reason only… HUman Right do not come into it.

          4. (In reply to Jock’s point here):

            How exactly do we respect the rights of a dead person? Apart from the right to have things like funeral related business in accordance with their beliefs when they were alive (and that’s pushing it at best) how can a dead person have rights? When we lock up their killers, we do it to protect the rights of everyone else alive. It’s too late to respect the dead person’s rights.

            “49 people in the UK have Whole Life Sentences for one reason and one reason only… HUman Right do not come into it.”

            So you don’t believe that human rights actually exist then since they don’t apply to all humans. An opinion I don’t agree with but accept, but in that case stop calling them human rights.

        2. bobbleobble 9 Jul 2013, 3:31pm

          There are plenty who would say that as gay people we are different and should be treated as such.

          Human rights are not contractual. You cannot give them up and thank goodness for that. If even these most despicable people can have their human rights protected then maybe if I ever find myself in a situation where the state is interfering with my rights then I will be protected too.

          1. Why are you somehow making a homophobic implication between this scenario involving murder and gay people to somehow subvert naïve people on here to your “reasoning”?

      2. You and your ilk must be supportive of Paedophile Child killers who have reformed conveniently also.,to have a sentence review in hope of parole. Either you are a very sick minded, evil person or completely naïve.

        1. I don’t see why saying that criminals should have their rights restricted as far and as long as necessary makes me, sick-minded, evil or (worst of all) completely naïve. It would be useful if rather than simply insulting me you explain what’s unreasonable about letting genuinely reformed people out of prison.

          1. If a murderer is truly reformed and remorseful, they will accept their lack of freedom for their heinous crime. As for the parole board deciding who is reformed or not is questionable as on so many occasions, the alleged reformed who are released continue to commit crime. How do you propose certainty of the “genuinely reformed people”? or are you saying we take a dangerous risk with them enjoying freedom in society, unlike their victim and victims family..

          2. I can’t reply directly to Rapture’s points below so I’ll do it via here.

            “If a murderer is truly reformed and remorseful, they will accept their lack of freedom for their heinous crime.”

            Why? As I asked below, what is anyone gaining from keeping them there? They should already have experienced an enormous lack of freedom, if they’re no longer a threat to anyone then there is no reason to extend it except out of revenge, which should have no place in justice.

            “How do you propose certainty of the “genuinely reformed people”?”

            I would leave that to the experts which I am demonstrably not. If there is no sensible degree of reason then those experts should not let them out. The point is that there is a principle of prisoners reforming themselves and one day being released, not that it’ll definitely happen for any or all of them.

      3. Jock S. Trap 10 Jul 2013, 11:20am

        What difference will it make to the victims’ families?

        Er well I guess the fact that the murderer took away any rights of the victim through violent means. Why in the most horrendous crimes must we say that as some stage that no longer matters.

        It does.

        What “rights” can be given to the family here?

        Well I guess knowing that that person responsible for murdering a family member is living with the crime for the rest of their life. After all by the murders they should forfeit any idea of freedom for the rest of their lives.

        Is having someone else held in prison indefinitely a right any of us are entitled to?

        Yes… it protects society and it is called punishment for a reason.

        Human Rights do protect us all but too many times it is used by criminals when they denied someone else the right to live, work, whatever the situation it’s them that have denied.

        This country should have it’s own laws to protect society and that means Whole Life Sentences.

        1. He’ll be living with the crime for the rest of his life inside or out of prison. How do you even protect that right? What if he feels no remorse ever, won’t that be a violation of the family’s supposed right to know that he’s living with the crime for the rest of his life?

          If he is safe for release (this is all hypotheticals obviously, but the legal framework is essential) then it wouldn’t be protecting anyone by keeping him in prison would it.

          Punishment for punishment’s sake is pointless, there has to be a reason for it.

    3. This has nothing to do with the EU.

      The Council of Europe is a much larger, rather older body.

      1. Hi Tom,
        I agree with your statement except – larger – is in terms of membership countries rather than extent of powers.
        It seems the much confusion here concerning EU or ECHR or even UNCHR

        no wonder the UK isn’t ready for a direct democracy à la Suisse :-(

  4. “The UK Government will now consider how it will respond to the ruling.”

    Easy

    “Good morning, we’re here to review the case of *insert name* in respect of his suitability for release. We find that this is not appropriate for *insert name* and they shall continue to serve their time in prison. This case shall be reviewed again in 25 years time”

    Sorted. They’ve had their review, and they go nowhere

    1. Colin (London) 9 Jul 2013, 3:02pm

      Perfect response Kris

      When they murdered they give up their rights to living in society. What about the dead’s human rights and the families left behind. Do they not count? Shouldn’t they have a say in his punishment. They live the rest of their lives with the consequences of a murderers actions.

      Yes easy to say Oh human rights when you have nothing invested in it.

      I’m with the government. It’s time for the UK to leave The European Convention of Human Rights. Actions have consequences.

      Having read many of the responses above I realise very few people think at all.

  5. And how much is this serial killer costing the UK tax payer with his appeals?

    1. Tax payers are the people in the country and there are processes to try to keep society in balance. Things don’t always work.
      ” A reversal occurred, however, in the 1930s when William Herbert Wallace was exonerated of the murder of his wife.” is just one entry in the wiki page on – Miscarriage of justice (in England and Wales).

      I am not suggesting the case in the article is a miscarriage of legal justice of UK courts, rather, that an appeals process is essential and is a cost that can and should be carried by a far and just society. Or do we want a lynch mob and dime driven society? Me not!

      1. Someone appealing their case due to them contesting their guilt is different to a serial killer appealing his case because he doesn’t want to spend as long in jail. The same happened with Brady recently. £250,000 spent on a court case for a convicted child killer who admits to his crimes but thinks he shouldn’t have to do what the courts have decided.

        I suspect you may think differently if 1 of the 4 victims were someone you loved.

        And there’s a big gap between a lynch mob, and stopping a convicted serial killer from appealing how long he stay in prison for.

        As for a fair and just society. Do you think its fair and just that a man who has taken 4 innocent peoples lives away from them should ever have freedom? What about the 4 people, will they ever have freedom? Where is the justice in that? It’s not fair to take anyone’s life and then expect you should be able to live as a free man.

        1. Has the serial killers/ian brady/paedophile killers” human rights” fan club invaded the comments section? The thinly veiled biased support for human rights of killers is grotesque.

          1. Damn folks, we’ve been rumbled! Rather than believing in upholding human rights for all human beings, we’ve been outed as the child-murderer fans we all are!

            Hehe, “thinly veiled biased support for human rights of killers”, I don’t know where to start with that. My support for their human rights is not “thinly-veiled”, it is not veiled at all. Yes, I support them having human rights even though they have committed monstrous acts. And biased? Biased against what exactly? Yeah, look at us with our support of human rights, showing our clear bias towards… all of humanity.

          2. It’s not grotesque to believe that all humans have irrevocable human rights. Just because someone my violate someone else’s human rights, doesn’t mean that person loses his completely. He may be charged, tried, convicted and sentenced for it, but one of his irrevocable human rights includes a guaranteed review of his incarceration no less frequently than every 25 years. Capital punishment and life imprisonment without parole are human rights abuses with no place in a civilised society, because a society that respects rights has higher, better standards than people who would violate human rights. All inmates have a right to be reviewed up until the day they die, even if they killed 500 people and lived to be 500 years old – this is absolutely zero room for revenge in this equation.

  6. These people that make these judgement should have NO say in the UK law, period.

    What about the human right of the partners family and friends of the murdered victims.

    1. How are their human rights being restricted?

      1. Colin (London) 9 Jul 2013, 3:09pm

        You are missing the point.

        Human Rights come with responsibilities….ie do not kill.

        If you can’t do one then you don’t get the other. Actions have consequences.

        1. bobbleobble 9 Jul 2013, 3:34pm

          You’re missing the point. Human rights are not conditional, they apply to everyone but they relate to how the state interacts with its people.

          And these guys are experiencing the consequences of their actions, they’re in prison and are likely to be for the rest of their lives.

          1. Colin (London) 9 Jul 2013, 5:44pm

            They are conditional. They have to be agreed with society. Those who operate outside society gave up their rights and thank goodness we still have a Parliament that recognises this.

            It’s always about rights but few thinking people talk about responsibilities. They go hand in hand in my opinion but we are free to disagree.

          2. Colin (London) 9 Jul 2013, 5:46pm

            Not consequences…responsibilities. They are different.

        2. When someone says “what about the rights of the victim’s family?”, I don’t think it’s missing the point to ask exactly how it is those rights are being affected. It’s pretty much the entire point.

          1. Their human rights to a family life have been affected by the murder of a loved family member.

          2. (To rapture):

            And how is that right affected by the possibility that one day the killer might eventually be released? What difference will that make to their family life either way?

        3. Then someone who commits murder, can be charged, tried, convicted, sentenced and incarcerated for those crimes. But human rights can never be revoked from anyone, and all legal punishments must be compatible with human rights.

          Whether you think so or not, human beings do not have a right to state-sanctioned revenge any more than they have a right to murder. I repeat, revenge is not a human right. The criminal justice system must first and foremost have a rehabilitative function, and not be used as some kind of permanent oubliette where they lock them up and throw away the key. Some people may never truly be rehabilitated, but they are entitled to regular review for the chance of parole, up until the day they die.

        4. So human rights are conditional and dependant on the agreement of society?

          So you will agree then that when society didn’t view gay people as equal we were rightly denied our rights? We were rightly sent to prison and hard labour camps? After all society agreed about that and society has now changed it’s mind about that.

          So we are just lucky that society changed it’s mind, because our gay human rights aren’t a right at all. By your explanation they are a privilege we have been given by straight people. I am so grateful to them for that.

  7. The ECHR hasn’t actually said that he shouldn’t spend the rest of his life behind bars, only that it’s not appropriate to throw away the key from day one.

    I think everyone should have the right of appeal and parole hearings. Of course, if he really is a nasty piece of work, he’ll never be let out, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have the processes.

  8. Wow, it’s actually funny to see how quickly us traditional victims of the right wing daily mail propaganda machine buy into its narrative!

    The entire point of human rights is that all humans are entitled to them, even the worst humans.

    It’s not like they are arguing to let them out – just that flatly denying them any chance at redemption/rehabilitation under any circumstances whatsoever is inhumane. And yes, before you say, I know what they did to their victims was inhumane thanks… but aren’t we supposed to be better?

    But no – read the words ‘human rights’ and suddenly we are all the front page of The Sun.

    I guess the good side to it is that it proves that us gays are just like everyone else – equally capable of being right wing, spoon fed idiots.

    Bring on the thumbs…

    1. You are comparing ‘us’ (the traditional victims) with a serial killer? You need to get some perspective on life.

      I don’t care if he finds jesus, has his sins forgiven and changes. He’s killed 4 men, he should be punished for taking 4 lives and its a small token I think that he should only spend 1 life in ]prison. If reincarnation did exist (which I don’t think it does) then he should spend the next 3 lives in prison as well. That would be fair and just.

      1. “You are comparing ‘us’ (the traditional victims) with a serial killer? You need to get some perspective on life.”

        And you need to learn how to read – no such comparison was made

      2. Spanner1960 13 Jul 2013, 10:58am

        You are comparing ‘us’ (the traditional victims) with a serial killer?

        We should, because one law has to be designed to fit all.

    2. You are a programmed, loony left , spoon fed idiot.

      1. Touché my good man – I bow before your superior wit and logic.

    3. I disagree with the death sentence, but not with full life sentences for murder. When they originally removed the death sentence in Britain it was done with the promise that ‘life will mean life for murder’ instead. Then they ended up giving murderers parole. I do see a difference with young offenders, as with those who killed James Bulger, no-one is the same when they’re a kid as they are as an adult, and there is a chance for parole and rehabilitation there, but when an adult murders another adult, then life should mean life. They should be stuck in jail for the rest of their natural life and be able to listen to the world pass them by on the outside where all the free people are who didn’t murder anyone. Why should they ever be free when they took another life and destroyed the lives of their family?

    4. Very said, tom. Respecters of human rights must exercise a higher standard than those who violate human rights.

  9. Garry Cassell 9 Jul 2013, 2:40pm

    Fry the sumbag

    1. Garry cassell 9 Jul 2013, 2:41pm

      scumbag

    2. Spanner1960 13 Jul 2013, 11:00am

      Oh please. Don’t be so cruel and stupid.
      We have never used the electric chair in the UK.

      We should just hang the bastard instead.

  10. Are you f***ing kidding me?

  11. Colin Andrew 1966 9 Jul 2013, 3:02pm

    It was a ruling by the ECHR that allowed gay people to join the British army, the UK government at the time (New Labour shamefully) tried to prevent it. No doubt this will lead to more Euro bashing by the Right. The Tories talk about a British bill of rights but you can be certain such a bill would vanish without trace once they’d abolished the Human Rights act.I think there was an attempt to introduce an EU-wide Human Rights charter in 2006 but it was vetoed by New Labour- the party that pretends to believe in equality but supports the status quo as much as any Tory.

    1. And the thing is, what would a British Bill of Rights actually look like? Exactly like the convention we already have. I challenge anyone to read the convention and tell me which rights they’d take away to make it better.

      1. To the person who thumbed my comment down, why not come on here and tell us which rights you’d have removed?

        1. So that’s (at least) 10 of you who are too gutless to argue the point – for fear of what I have no idea. At least give it a try – if I think you’re right I’ll change my mind. Easier to thumb the comment down rather than come up with a sensible response though, eh?

  12. Until 2003 these sorts of sentences were subject to periodic review. This is not something that should be in the hands of a politician who will make a decision not based on facts or evidence but on public opinion and for political reasons.

    This does not mean that these people will EVER be released.

    Speaking as someone who has had a case before the ECHR. We as gay people would not have all the rights we have today without the intervention of the court.

    The UK government changed the age of consent because they knew they were about to loose in the ECHR and a decision by the ECHR led to the eventual lifting of the ban of gay people serving in the military.

    I lost my military career in the early 80′s as well as spending time in a military prison for being gay.

    We have human rights laws.The problem in this country is, any law is subject to political interference. especially from the right wing for their own sick ideology.

    Furthermore. WE (the UK) practically wrote the convention!

    1. GulliverUK 9 Jul 2013, 5:21pm

      Excellent post. The government would not have allowed people who are gay to serve openly in the military had it not been for the ECHR. We owe an enormous debt to them for the rights we have. And many of those rights apply across Council of Europe members.

      1. But that doesn’t mean they get everything right. And in this case, they got it wrong.

    2. Spanner1960 13 Jul 2013, 11:01am

      Oh, of course. Blame the right wingers as usual.
      We have a perfectly good set of laws in the UK, without some foreign superstate imposing their own on us.

      1. The ECHR is not a superstate, and they are laws enacted democratically by our representatives.

        Which rights would you remove from the ECHR?

  13. The court ruled that a fixed life sentence without review is against the concept of Human Rights. I agree, I also hope that on review, his freedom would not be allowed.

    Such a ruling may seem crass, but its a ruling in principle not in act. It doesn’t mean anyone walks free.

    Or would people prefer incarceration for stolen Evian bottles? Courts should be above emotions of the moment, and superior to politicians and monarchs.

    1. what the hell has stolen evian bottles got to do with a serial killer? get some perspective.

  14. This story makes what the ECtHR did seem very negative – in fact, it’s not. Anyone who thinks it is obviously does not understand the court’s ruling.

    The ECtHR merely said that you can imprison someone for life on the discretion of a single person; you have to have a set number of years and it has to go up for review after that.

    That’s not bad. That’s a good thing. That’s called ‘the rule of law’, which the UK legal system if founded upon; a single person cannot have arbitrary discretionary power and it not violate the rule of law.

    The ECtHR is merely enforcing the rule of law and preventing arbitrary government power.

    Please explain what’s wrong with that to me

    - From a human rights lawyer

    1. The UK legal system has said this man, who took 4 peoples lives, and has admitted to the crimes, should be in prison for 1 life with no chance of appeal.

      Please explain what’s wrong with that?

      1. This isn’t about this one case in isolation, it’s about the rights of all prisoners In the UK. If your only source of information for this story is this quite terrible article I can understand your emotional and passionate response Mark, however there is a bigger picture to consider.

      2. The no chance of appeal bit.

        Everyone can theoretically be fit for release at some point. In this guy’s case it’s highly unlikely that’ll be any time soon, but he should have the same chance as anyone else.

      3. What’s wrong, is that if there is no change of release, then the life sentence is in effect no different to a death sentence.

        In order to sign up to the EHCR Protocol 6 requires the restriction of the death penalty to war and t imminent threat of war.

        I’m content with this.

        I honestly like to believe that every human has the chance of redemption in their psyche.

    2. Are you implying that the crime has lost it’s importance over time? maybe there was another incompetent judge sentencing? in that case, the murderer should have appealed at the said time. The crime has not changed over time even if the criminal can easily manipulate a parole board into believing convenient remorse.

  15. contrary to UK law in the present case, all legal systems in western Europe provide for a compulsive possible review of the application of the life sentence by another court (not a government minister) in the course of its execution, depending on the behaviour and situation of the convict.
    that, and only that, is the meaning of this Strasbourg ruling.
    If the UK wishes to comply, it will have to install a similar court and the problem will cease to exist.

  16. GulliverUK 9 Jul 2013, 3:46pm

    The court made the right decision – there must always be the possibility of parole – however unlikely, and however horrible the crime. I don’t feel happy saying that, it just happens to seem logical and humane to me. All too often we do not even attempt to rehabilitate, and if you’re not going to do that then why not kill all murderers, rapists, etc. and put them out of their misery.

    Over time I believe people can change – I won’t say I understand how someone like him could change in to somebody we would accept back in to society, but I’m open to the possibility that a very, very bad person could become a good or acceptable person, to make up for the horrible inhumane things they have done. How do we know advances in medical science won’t find some explanation and fix some day.

    Having said that I don’t know if people like this would be safe from harm on the outside when people discover who they are. Some people might want to take their own revenge. Difficult call.

    1. Spanner1960 13 Jul 2013, 11:05am

      Have you never heard of the expression “Throwing away the key”?
      Well this is simply the legal realisation of such a saying.

      What is the point of reviewing a case when the answer is a foregone conclusion? These people are a danger to society and will never be released, so if there is any complaint, it is that we offer this dim and futile hope of release when there will never be one, and if that is not cruel and inhumane, I don’t know what is.

      1. Because the answer should never be a foregone conclusion. Extremely unlikely in many cases no doubt, but it is theoretically possible that every person could one day be safe enough to be free. Therefore the ruling means that this just has to be checked on once in a while. In reality as you say many people will continue with whole life sentences. In which case, why worry about it?

  17. Bring back the death penalty, a life for a life!

    1. And if an innocent man was killed due to dodgy evidence, or any other factor, then who’s life would be given up for that death?

    2. Sick. I hear far too much of that mob rule crap here in the United States.

  18. The court has quite rightly interpreted the human rights treaty. We have no more right to lock him up and throw away the keys than to kill him.

    There is nothing whatever in the judgement that says that the person ‘has to be released’ except if a panel agrees that the person has reformed himself and is no longer a danger to the public.

    There is a case for saying that he should not live in the same area as the family of the victim. As I understand it any release is on parole.

  19. Janet Lameck 9 Jul 2013, 5:25pm

    The moment he took another persons life he GAVE UP ALL his rights.

    1. Human rights must apply to all humans, or else they are meaningless. Paradoxically this includes people who themselves violate other people’s human rights. Human rights are never forfeit, or else they wouldn’t be rights.

  20. It’s disturbing to read some of the misguided comments on here, debating that a murderer should have his/her sentence reviewed. Their sentence was fit for their crime and even if they do conveniently find god or become a reformed character in prison, that does still not change seriousness of the crime or the sentencing.
    Some idiots on here seem to be so detached from the hideousness of murder until it affects them personally. And if it has , they should have more respect for the victims rather than playing the schoolboy devil’s advocate .

    1. It’s nothing to do with devil’s advocacy, at least give other people the credit to take their arguments at face value.

      If someone serves many years and is eventually fit for release, you think they should be kept in… for what? What gain? Who wins out of that?

      It’s nothing to do with being detached from murder. It’s to do with treating all people as human beings, even the ones who commit the most deplorable crimes.

    2. Colin (London) 9 Jul 2013, 8:45pm

      Here here.

  21. This man is too much of a danger to be let out of jail.

    1. at the age of 90, would he still be too much of a danger?

      1. Colin (London) 9 Jul 2013, 9:25pm

        yes

      2. You’d probably have to ask someone who knows him. I don’t see how his age has a great deal to do with it.

      3. Spanner1960 13 Jul 2013, 11:07am

        Prison sentences are also there as a punishment.

  22. I like the system that some states in the USA have. Where in the absence of specific whole-life sentences, people who are convicted of multiple crimes serve their sentences consecutively.
    So in the case of murder, one murder would lead to, for example, 25 years in prison. Four murders would lead to 100 years in prison.

    Such a policy should satisfy the ECHR requirement that some one convicted of a crime has the possibility of one day being released from prison, in so much as them being given a terminable sentence.
    While at the same time, ensuring that the worst offenders remain locked up for, in want of a better word, life.

    1. I don’t see what difference it would make – the sentence would still require periodic review.

  23. Carl ROwlands 9 Jul 2013, 7:59pm

    I lived in north Wales when Peter Moore committed these murders. They were not recognised as ‘gay’ murders until after the 4th despite similar traits. For about 20 years there was someone who would stop cars on country lanes and take a hammer to the occupants. It was generally thought that these could be attributed to Moore. It was a terrifying time here coupled with the reluctance of the Police to notify local gay men there might be an issue in the locality. Reports indicate that he still maintains his innocence. Whilst some may think the ECHR has reached the correct conclusion in law, some remember the significant impact he had locally………

  24. Hard to believe. Then again….

  25. Surely the issue is practical. A murder caused by an unhappy relationship – or even something reprehensible but rational like a robbery gone wrong – is unlikely to be repeated and does not require necessarily incarceration for life. Spree and serial killers are a different matter. They display compulsive and pathological behavior which makes them too dangerous ever to release. One-size-fits-all legal rulings are surely inappropriate here.

    1. Spanner1960 13 Jul 2013, 10:49am

      Nobody gets a full life sentence for a robbery gone wrong.
      They are only given such a sentence in extreme cases where the person is considered a permanent danger to the public. This is almost always serial killers that committed premeditated killings at different times.

      1. Yep – and that’s why even with reviews the chance of a release in most cases is unlikely. But the ruling is for the possibility of cases where they are no longer considered a permanent danger to the public. It is simply the law accounting for people’s rights in every possible outcome.

  26. Is this a ruling against life sentences in principle, or against this man serving the harshest available sentence? The article isn’t clear on that but IMO it changes the meaning completely if it was against life sentences in principle, although it would still have been by far the wrong test case

    1. It is a ruling against life sentences without chance of parole on the grounds that they’re against the inmate’s human rights. The ruling doesn’t mean anyone would be guaranteed release, but it does mean that prisoners should be entitled to a review after 25 years. The government is now supposed to implement some sort of framework to this effect.

      1. Ok. In that case my only gripe is that they chose the wrong test case, tbh

  27. I wonder what about the human right to live of those who had been murdered by that guy? Can we believe that it been breach as well? But it is quite unfortunate is it not that death is something we can’t come back…

    1. The violation of their human rights is repaid by this man being tried, convicted and sentenced. But that said, he’s still human, and his human rights are not forfeit as long as he still lives. The system that respects human rights has an obligation to a higher standard than those who violate or deprive the human rights of others. The system must protect the human rights of all humans, or human rights are meaningless.

      He may never leave prison. But his human rights entitle him to at least the possibility of parole within his lifetime, and this is achievable through regular review no less frequent than 25 years.

      1. “The violation of their human rights is repaid” ? Go tell that to the parents of the soham schoolgirls or ian brady’s victims families and how do you know it has been repaid ?maybe you have access to the murdered victims through a medium?

        1. It’s how people pay a debt to society for having deprived other people of their human rights, including the right to life. Human rights still apply to all living people and can never be revoked. Also, revenge is not a human right.

          1. Taking a life is a debt that can never be re-paid, ever. He could serve a million life sentences and it wouldn’t be enough.

            This man has killed 4 people in cold calcuated murder. These people simply cannot be trusted. You’d have to watch them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

            I think the risk of losing another life, and the pain of those lives already lost, is greater than his human rights

  28. Kay Arnold 10 Jul 2013, 4:18am

    He is so lucky to be in the UK here in Texas we have an expedited death penalty even for killers of gay men. I don’t agree with the death penalty as it is used to liberally in Texas. Later review has found it to be unfair at the very least.

  29. Disgusting ruling!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. We as gay people owe a great deal of our freedom to the stock people and sovereign states put into human rights. Part of this includes that human rights can never be revoked from any living person. That guarantee ethically prohibits a system from violating the human rights of people later on, so that we as gay people (among others) continue to have the right to life and to equality, etc.

    And here’s the flip side of that. If we are to value human rights, they must be respected for the best of people, as well as for the worst of people. That means, that even vile serial killers like this man, are guaranteed human rights including right to life and the possibility of parole.

    When people are angry, or disgusted, or hurt, they can be tempted to take revenge, or assert a supposed right to revenge. But such a desire for revenge cannot deprive any other people of their human rights. Because revenge itself is not a human right, and it should never be one.

    1. Dermot, I think this reasoning is a bit beyond some of the Neanderthals on here.

      They are discussing human rights without the slightest idea what they are talking about. What they are actually discussing is vengeance pure and simple. I would have more respect for their argument if they just came out and said that.

      Actually it is probably an insult to Neanderthals.

      1. I wouldn’t call people opposed to this ruling neanderthals but there’s definitely a widespread either misunderstanding of or outright contempt for what human rights are (and what makes them human rights).

  31. I am sorry but once you deny others of their life and/or rights, you deny yourself of your rights.

    1. The ECHR holds that human rights cannot be revoked by any living human. They can be punished by the legal system, but the one thing that can never be taken away from them is the human rights. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

  32. Just execute the bastard and be done with it.

  33. Spanner1960 13 Jul 2013, 10:45am

    Well all you bleeding heart pinko lefties can reap what you sew. You brought this crap upon yourselves.

    1. Sorry, what crap did we bring upon ourselves? What will we reap? What did we even sow?

    2. It’s ‘sew’ with a needle and thread but it’s ‘sow’ as in seeds.
      And Miss Piggy is a ‘sow’…
      Funny old language, innit, English?

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