Killer of gay man denied right to vote by UK Supreme Court
A prisoner serving a life sentence for the murder of a gay man should not be given the right to vote, the UK’s Supreme Court has ruled.
On Thursday, the UK’s highest court dismissed appeals brought by child killer Peter Chester and George McGeoch.
McGeoch, 41, from Glasgow, is serving a life sentence in Dumfries prison for the 1998 murder of Eric Innes in Inverness.
After inviting Mr Innes back to his home he bludgeoned and smothered the victim to death.
He met the bakery worker in a chance encounter in Inverness in September 1998.
McGeoch, who has a violent history, will be considered for parole in 2015.
In February 2008 he left two staff locked in their own vehicle after staging a break-out during a hospital visit in Perth.
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He was jailed in 2009 for an extra seven-and-a-half years for the attack during which he used a makeshift knife.
McGeoch was also handed an eight-year prison term in 2002 for holding two nurses hostage in his prison cell.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2005 that a blanket ban on serving prisoners going to the polls was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), relating to the right to free and fair elections.
The court said it was up to individual countries to decide which inmates should be denied the right to vote from jail, but that a total ban was illegal.
McGeoch, along with several other prisoners, has repeatedly argued for the right to be included on the electoral roll – but each time this has been dismissed by judges in the UK.
Responding to Thursday’s unanimous Supreme Court ruling, Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: “The Supreme Court judgment on prisoner voting is a great victory for common sense.”